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Full text of "The diamond fairy book"

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^\\E UNIVER5 1 //, 



THE DIAMOND FAIRY BOOK. 



UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME 

Each in square 8vo, richly bound in cloth gilt 
and gilt edges, 3s. 6d. 

THE RUBY FAIRY BOOK 

With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Frank Pape" and 
77 drawings by H. R. Millar. 

THE GOLDEN FAIRY BOOK 

With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Frank Pap and 
no drawings by H. R. Millar. 

THE SILVER FAIRY BOOK 

With 8 beautiful coloured plates by Norman Little 
and 83 illustrations by H. R. Millar. 




" Upon the back of his noble steed the Prince gallantly lifted 
his beautiful charge." 



FRONTISPIECE. 



Pane 273 



THE DlAKOflD 



j FAIRY BOOK 






4&&%z, 




With 8 Coloured Plates by FRANK PAPE 
and 82 Drawings by H. R. MILLAR 



LONDON 
HUTCHINSON & CO. 

PATERNOSTER Row 



PRINTED BY 

HA/ELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD., 
LONDON AND AYI.ESBURY. 



PZ* 

DSH 



CONTENTS. 



PRIKCI.SS CRYSTAL, OR THE HIDDEN TREASURE , . . i 
By Isabel Bellerby. 

THE STORY OF THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM 15 

From the German of Richard Leandcr. 

How SAMPO LAPPELILL SAW THE MOUNTAIN-KING . . 35 

From the Swedish of Z. Topelius. 

THE WITCH -DANCER'S DOOM ..... . . .51 

A Breton Legend. 

THE THREE VALLEYS ......... 61 

From the German. 

THE SPRING-TIDE OF LOVE . 77 

By Pleydell North (Mrs. Egerton F.astwick). 

RlNGFALLA BRIDGE ......... 97 

By K. E. Sutler, 

THE CHILDREN'S FAIRY. . . . , , , . .113 
From the French of Saint- fairs. 

WlTTYSPLINlER , , ,127 

From the German of Clemens Brentano. 

THE MID-DAY ROCK . . 143 

Front the French of f. farry. 



849482 



viii Contents. 

PACK 
LlLLEKORT 157 

From the French of Xavier Marmier. 

THE TEN LITTLE FAIRIES 169 

From the French of Georges Mitchell. 

THE MAGICIAN AND HIS PUPIL 185 

From the German of A. Godin. 



THE STRAWBERRY THIEF 201 

From the German of Pauline Schanz. 

THE ADVENTURES OF SAID . . . . . . . .217 

From the German of W. Hauff. 

LITTE BLUE FLOWER 241 

From the German of Miss F. E. Hynam. 

"THE PRINCESS WHO DESPISED ALL MEN". .... 257 
By Charles Smith Cheltnam. 

THE NECKLACE OF TEARS 277 

By Mrs. Egerton Eastwick. 

THE PRINCE AND THE LIONS. , , . . . 297 

From the Persian. 



Princess Crystal, or the Hidden Treasure. 




THERE were the four Kings: the King of the 
North, the region of perpetual snow ; the King 
of the South, where the sun shines all the year 
round ; the King of the East, from whence the cold 
winds blow ; and the King of the West, where the gentle 
zephyrs breathe upon the flowers, and coax them to 
open their petals while the rest of the world is still 
sleeping. 

And there was the great Dragon, who lived on top of 
a high mountain in the centre of the universe. He could 
see everything that happened everywhere by means of 
his magic spectacles, which enabled him to look all ways 
at once, and to see through solid substances ; but he could 
only see, not hear, for he was as deaf as a post. 

3 



4 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Now the King of the North had a beautiful daughter 
called Crystal. Her eyes were bright like the stars ; her 
hair was black like the sky at night ; and her skin was as 
white as the snow which covered the ground outside the 
palace where she lived, which was built entirely of crystals 
clear as the clearest glass. 

And the King of the South had a son who had been 
named Sunshine on account of his brightness and warmth 
of heart 

The King of the East had a son who, because he was 
always up early and was very industrious, had been given 
the name of Sunrise. 

The King of the West also had a son, perhaps 
the handsomest of the three, and always magnificently 
drassed ; but as it took him all day to make his toilette, 
so that he was never seen before evening, he received 
the name of Sunset. 

All three Princes were in love with the Princess 
Crystal, each hoping to win her for his bride. When 
they had the chance they would go and peep at her as 
she wandered up and down in her glass palace. But 
she liked Prince Sunshine best, because he stayed longer 
than the others, and was always such excellent company. 
Prince Sunrise was too busy to be able to spare her 
more than half an hour or so ; and Prince Sunset never 
came until she was getting too tired and sleepy to care 
to see him. 

It was of no use, however, for her to hope that Sun- 
shine would be her husband just because she happened 
to prefer him to the others. Her father the stern, 
blusterous old King, with a beard made of icicles so 



Princess Crystal. 



long that it reached to his waist and kept his heart 
cold declared that he had no patience for such non- 
sense as likes and dislikes ; and one day he announced, 
far and wide, in a voice that was heard by the other 
three Kings, and which made the earth shake so that 
the great green Dragon immediately looked through 
his spectacles to see what was happening : 

" He who would win my daughter must first bring 
me the casket containing the Hidden Treasure, which 
is concealed no man knows where ! " 

Of course the Dragon was none the wiser for looking 
through his spectacles, because the words loud though 
they were could not be heard by his deaf ears. 

But the other Kings listened diligently; as did the 
young Princes. And poor Princess Crystal trembled in 
her beautiful palace lest Sunrise, who was always up so 
early, should find the treasure before Sunshine had a 
chance : she was not much afraid of the indolent Sunset, 
except that it might occur to him to look in some spot 
forgotten by his rivals. 

Very early indeed on the following morning did 
Prince Sunrise set to work ; he glided along the surface 
of the earth, keeping close to the ground in his anxiety 
not to miss a single square inch. He knew he was 
not first in the field ; for the Northern King's proclama- 
tion had been made towards evening on the previous 
day, and Prince Sunset had bestirred himself for once, 
and had lingered about rather later than usual, being 
desirous of finding the treasure and winning the charm- 
ing Princess. 

But the early morning was passing, and very soon 



6 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the cheery, indefatigable Sunshine had possession of the 
entire land, and flooded Crystal's palace with a look 
from his loving eyes which bade her not despair. 

Then he talked to the trees and the green fields and 
the flowers, begging them to give up the secret in re- 
turn for the warmth and gladness he shed so freely on 
them. But they were silent, except that the trees 
sighed their sorrow at not being able to help him, and 
the long grasses rustled a whispered regret, and the 
flowers bowed their heads in grief. 

Not discouraged, however, Prince Sunshine went to 
the brooks and rivers, and asked their assistance. But 
they, too, were helpless. The brooks gurgled out great 
tears of woe, which rushed down to the rivers, and so 
overcame them sorry as they were on account of their 
own inability to help that they nearly overflowed their 
banks, and went tumbling into the sea, who, of course, 
wanted to know what was the matter ; but, when told, 
all the sea could do was to thunder a loud and con- 
tinuous " No ! " on all its beaches. So Prince Sunshine 
had to pass on and seek help elsewhere. 

He tried to make the great Dragon understand ; but 
it could not hear him. Other animals could, though, 
and he went from one to another, as cheerful as ever, 
in spite of all the " Noes " he had met with ; until, at 
last, he knew by the twittering of the birds that he 
was going to be successful. 

" We go everywhere and learn most things," said the 
swallows, flying up and down in the air, full of excite- 
ment and joy at being able to reward their beloved 
Sunshine for all his kindness to them. "And we know 



Princess Crystal. 



MY ROBE IS OF SNOW,' SHE rALTFRED 1 * ( 6. 8V 




8 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

this much, at any rate : the Hidden Treasure can only 
be found by him who looks at its hiding-place through 
the Dragon's magic spectacles." 

Prince Sunshine exclaimed that he would go at once 
and borrow these wonderful spectacles ; but a solemn- 
looking old owl spoke up: 

" Be not in such a hurry, most noble Prince ! The 
Dragon will slay any one even so exalted a personage 
as yourself who attempts to remove those spectacles 
while he is awake; and, as is well known, he never 
allows himself to sleep, for fear of losing some im- 
portant sight." 

" Then what is to be done ? " asked the Prince, be- 
ginning to grow impatient at last, for the afternoon 
was now well advanced, and Prince Sunset would soon 
be on the war-path again. 

A majestic eagle came swooping down from the 
clouds. 

"There is only one thing in all the world," said he, 
"which can send the Dragon to sleep, and that is a 
caress from the hand of the Princess Crystal." 

Sunshine waited to hear no more. Smiling his thanks, 
he hastened away to put his dear Crystal's love to the 
test. She had never yet ventured outside the covered 
gardens of her palace. Would she go with him now, 
and approach the great Dragon, and soothe its savage 
watchfulness into the necessary repose? 

As he made the request, there stole into the Princess's 
cheeks the first faint tinge of colour that had ever 
been seen there. 

" My robe is of snow," she faltered ; " if I go outside 



Princess Crystal, 




"HE LEARNED THE SECRET AT ONCE* ( f>. It). 



io The Diamond Fairy Book. 

these crystal walls into your radiant presence it will 
surely melt." 

" You look as if you yourself would melt at my first 
caress, you beautiful, living snowflake," replied the 
Prince ; " but have no fear : see, I have my own mantle 
ready to enfold you. Come, Princess, and trust your- 
self to me." 

Then, for the first time in her life, Princess Crystal 
stole out of her palace, and was immediately wrapped 
in Prince Sunshine's warm mantle, which caused her 
to glow all over ; her face grew quite rosy, and she 
looked more than usually lovely, so that the Prince 
longed to kiss her ; but she was not won yet, and she 
might have been offended at his taking such a liberty. 

Therefore, he had to be content to have her beside 
him in his golden chariot with the fiery horses, which 
flew through space so quickly that they soon stood on 
the high mountain, where the Dragon sat watching 
them through his spectacles, wondering what the Princess 
was doing so far from home, and what her father would 
think if he discovered her absence. 

It was no use explaining matters to the Dragon, 
even had they wished to do so ; but of course nothing 
was further from their intention. 

Holding Prince Sunshine's hand to give her courage, 
the Princess approached the huge beast and timidly 
laid her fingers on his head. 

" This is very nice and soothing," thought the Dragon, 
licking his lips; "very kind of her to come, I'm sure; 
but dear me ! this won't do ! I'm actually going 
to sleep ! " 



Princess Crystal. n 

He tried to rise, but the gentle hand prevented that. 
A sensation of drowsiness stole through all his veins, 
which would have been delightful but for his deter- 
mination never to sleep. As it was, he opened his 
mouth to give a hiss that would surely have frightened 
the poor Princess out of her wits ; but he fell asleep 
before he could so much as begin it ; his mouth re- 
mained wide open ; but his eyes closed, and his great 
head began to nod in a very funny manner. 

Directly they were satisfied that he really slept, 
Prince Sunshine helped himself to the Dragon's spectacles, 
requesting the Princess not to remove her hand, lest 
the slumber should not last long enough for their 
purpose. 

Then he put on the spectacles, and Princess Crystal 
exclaimed with fear and horror when as though in 
result of his doing so she saw her beloved Prince 
plunge his right hand into the Dragon's mouth. 

Prince Sunshine had stood facing the huge beast 
as he transferred the spectacles to his own nose, and, 
naturally enough, the first thing he saw through them 
was the interior of the Dragon's mouth, with the tongue 
raised and shot forward in readiness for the hiss which 
sleep had intercepted ; and under the tongue was the 
golden casket containing the Hidden Treasure ! 

The spectacles enabled the Prince to see through 
the cover ; so he learned the secret at once, and knew 
why the King of the North was so anxious to possess 
himself of it, the great treasure being a pair of spectacles 
exactly like those hitherto always worn by the Dragon, 
and by him alone which would keep the King 



12 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

informed of all that was going on in every corner of 
his kingdom, so that he could always punish or re- 
ward the right people and never make mistakes ; also 
he could learn a great deal of his neighbours' affairs, 
which is pleasant even to a King. 

The Princess was overjoyed when she knew the 
casket was already found; she very nearly removed 
her hand in her eagerness to inspect it; but, fortunately, 
she remembered just in time, and kept quite still until 
Prince Sunshine had drawn his chariot so close that 
they could both get into it without moving out of 
reach of the Dragon's head. 

Then, placing the spectacles, not in their accustomed 
place, but on the ground just beneath, and laying the 
golden casket on the Princess's lap, the Prince said, 
as he gathered up the reins : 

" Now, my dearly beloved Crystal really mine at 
last take away your hand, and let us fly, without an 
instant's delay, to the Court of the King, your royal 
father." 

It is well they had prepared for immediate departure. 
Directly the Princess's hand was raised from the Dragon's 
head his senses returned to him, and, finding his mouth 
open ready for hissing, he hissed with all his angry 
might, and looked about for his spectacles that he 
might pursue and slay those who had robbed him ; for, 
of course, he missed the casket at once. 

But he was a prisoner on that mountain and unable 
to leave it, though he flapped his great wings in terrible 
wrath when he saw the Prince and Princess, instead 
of driving down the miles and miles of mountain side 



Princess Crystal. 13 

as he had hoped, being carried by the fiery horses 
right through the air, where he could not reach them. 

They only laughed when they heard the hiss and 
the noise made by the useless flapping of wings. 
Prince Sunshine urged on his willing steeds, and they 
arrived at the Court just as the King, Crystal's father, 
was going to dinner; and he was so delighted at 
having the treasure he had so long roveted, that he 
ordered the marriage to take place at once. 

Prince Sunset called just in time to be best man, 
looking exceedingly gorgeous and handsome, though 
very disappointed to have lost the Princess ; and the 
festivities were kept up all night, so that Prince Sun- 
rise was able to offer his good wishes when he came 
early in the morning, flushed with the haste he had 
made to assure Prince Sunshine that he bore him no 
ill-will for having carried off the prize. 

Princess Crystal never returned to her palace, except 
to peep at it occasionally. She liked going everywhere 
with her husband, who, she found, lived by no means 
an idle life, but went about doing good grumbled at 
sometimes, of course, for some people will grumble 
even at their best friend but more generally loved 
and blessed by all who knew him. 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 




from tbe (Berman of 1?fcbar& XeanZ>er. 



IN a little house half-way up the mountain-side, and 
about a mile from the other houses of the village, 
there lived with his old father a young man called 
George. There was just enough land belonging to the 
house to enable the father and son to live free from 



Immediately behind the house the wood began, the 
oak trees and beech trees in which were so old that 
the grandchildren of the people who had planted them 
had been dead for more than a hundred years, but in 
front of the house there lay a broken old mill-stone 
who knows how it got there? Any one sitting on the 
stone would have a wonderful view of the valley down 

if 2 



1 8 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

below, with the river flowing through it, and of the 
mountains rising on the other side of the river. In the 
evening, when he had finished his work in the fields, 
George often sat here for hours at a time dreaming, 
with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands ; 
and because he cared little for the villagers, but generally 
went about silent and absorbed like one who is thinking 
of all sorts of things, the people nicknamed him " George 
the Dreamer." But he did not mind it at all. 

The older he grew, the more silent he became, and 
when at last his old father died, and he had buried 
him under a great old oak tree, he became quite silent. 
Then, when he sat on the broken mill-stone, as he did 
more often than before, and looked down into the lovely 
valley, and saw how the evening mists came into the 
valley at one end and slowly climbed the mountains, 
and how it then became darker and darker, until at 
last the moon and the stars appeared in the sky in 
their full glory, a wonderful feeling came into his heart 
The waves of the river began to sing, quite softly at 
first, but gradually louder, until they could be heard 
quite plainly; and they sang of the mountains^ down 
from which they had come, and of the sea, to which 
they wished to go, and of the nixies who lived far 
down at the bottom of the river. Then the forest began 
to rustle, quite differently from an ordinary forest, and 
it used to relate the most wonderful tales. The old 
oak tree especially, which stood at his father's grave, 
knew far more than all the other trees. The stars, high 
up in the sky, wanted so much to tumble down into the 
green forest and the blue water, that they twinkled and 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 1.9 




; IN 1HE SWING SAT A CHARMING PRINCESS " (f. 2O). 



2O The Diamond Fairy Book. 

sparkled as if they could not bear it any longer. But 
the angels who stand behind the stars held them firmly 
in their places, and said : " Stars, stars, don't be foolish ! 
You are much too old to do silly things many thousand 
years old, and more. Stay quietly in your places." 

It was truly a wonderful valley ! But it was only 
George the Dreamer who heard and saw all that. The 
people who lived in the valley had not a suspicion of 
it, for they were quite ordinary people. Now and then 
they hewed down a huge old tree, cut it up into firewood, 
and made a high stack, and then they said : " Now 
we shall be able to make our coffee again for some 
time." In the river they washed their clothes ; it was 
very convenient. And even when the stars sparkled 
most beautifully, they only said, '.' It will be very cold 
to-night: let us hope our potatoes won't freeze." Once 
George the Dreamer tried to bring them to see differently, 
but they only laughed at him. They were just quite 
ordinary people. 

Now, one day as he was sitting on the mill-stone and 
thinking that he was quite alone in the world, he fell 
asleep. Then he dreamt that he saw, hanging down 
from the sky, a golden swing, which was fastened to 
two stars by silver ropes. In the swing sat a charming 
Princess, who was swinging so high that each time she 
touched the sky, then the earth, and then the sky again. 
Each time the swing came near the earth, the Princess 
clapped her hands with joy and threw George the 
Dreamer a rose. But suddenly the ropes broke, and 
the swing, with the Princess, flew far into the sky, farther 
and farther, until at last he could see it no longer. 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 2 1 

Then he woke up, and when he looked round, he saw 
a great bunch of roses lying beside him on the mill- 
stone. 

The next day he went to sleep again, and dreamt 
the same thing, and when he woke up the roses were 
lying on the stone by his side. 

This happened every day for a whole week. Then 
George said to himself that some part of the dream 
must be true, because he always dreamt exactly the 
same thing. So he shut up his house, and set out to 
seek the Princess. 

After he had travelled for many days, he saw in the 
distance a country where the clouds touched the earth. 
He hastened towards it, but came, on his way, to a large 
forest. Here he suddenly heard fearful groans and cries, 
and on approaching the place from which they seemed 
to come, he saw a venerable old man with a silver-grey 
beard lying on the ground. Two horribly ugly, naked 
fellows were kneeling on him, trying to strangle him. 
Then George the Dreamer looked round to see whether 
he could find some^sort of weapon with which to run 
the two fellows through the body; but he could find 
nothing, so, in mortal terror, he tore down a huge tree- 
trunk. He had scarcely seized it when it changed in 
his hands into a mighty halberd. Then he rushed at 
the two monsters, and ran them through the body, and 
they let go the old man and ran away howling. 

Then George lifted the old man up and comforted 
him, and asked him why the two fellows had wanted 
to choke him. The old man said that he was the King 
of Dreams, and had come by mistake into the kingdom 



22 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

of his greatest enemy, the King of Realities. The latter, 
as soon as he noticed this, had sent two of his servants 
to lie in wait for him and kill him. 

"Have you then done the King of Realities any 
harm?" asked George the Dreamer. 

" God forbid ! " the old man assured him. " He is 
always very easily provoked, that is his character. And 
me he hates like poison." 

"But the fellows he sent to strangle you were quite 
naked!" 

"Yes, indeed," said the King, "stark naked. That is 
fashion in the land of Realities ; all the people, even the 
King, go about naked, and are not at all ashamed. They 
are an abominable nation. But now, since you have 
saved my life, I will prove my gratitude to you by 
showing you my country. It is the most glorious country 
in the whole world, and Dreams are my subjects." 

Then the Dream-King went on in front and George 
followed him. When they came to the place where the 
clouds touched the earth, the King showed him a trap- 
door that was so well hidden in <he thicket that not 
even a person who knew it was there would have been 
able to find it. He lifted it up and led his companion 
down five hundred steps into a brightly lighted grotto 
that stretched for miles in undiminished splendour. It 
was unspeakably beautiful. There were castles on islands 
in the midst of large lakes, and the islands floated about 
like ships. If you wished to go into one of them, all 
you had to do was to stand on the bank and call out : 

Little castle, swim to me, 
That I may get into thee. 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 23 




"GEORGE COUI.D PO HOTHING BUT WONDER AND ADMIRE" (/. 24). 



24 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Then it came to the shore by itself. Farther on were 
other castles, on clouds, floating slowly in the air. But 
if you said : 

Float down, little castle in the air, 
Take me up to see thy beauties rare, 

they slowly floated down. Besides these, there were 
gardens with flowers which gave out a sweet smell by 
day, and a bright light by night ; beautifully tinted birds, 
which told stories ; and a host of other wonderful things. 
George could do nothing but wonder and admire. 

"Now I will show you my subjects, the Dreams," 
said the King. " I have three kinds good Dreams 
for good people, bad Dreams for bad people, and also 
Dream-goblins. With the last I amuse myself now and 
then, for a King must sometimes have a joke." 

So he took George into one of the castles, which 
was so queerly built that it looked irresistibly comical. 

" Here the Dream-goblins live : they are a tiny, high- 
spirited, roguish lot never do any harm, but love to 
tease." Then he called to one of the goblins: "Come 
here, little man, and be serious a moment for once in 
your life. Do you know," he continued, addressing 
George, "what this rogue does if I, once in a way, 
allow him to go down to the earth? He runs to the 
next house, drags the first man he comes across, who 
is sound asleep, out of bed, carries him to the church 
tower, and throws him down, head over heels. Then 
he rushes down the stairs so as to reach the bottom 
first, catches the man, carries him home, and flings him 
so roughly into bed that the bedstead creaks horribly. 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 25 

Then the man wakes up, rubs the sleep out of his 
eyes, and says : ' Dear me ! I thought I was falling 
from the church tower. What a good thing it was 
only a dream.'" 

"Is that the one?" cried George. "Look here, he 
has been to me before ; but if he comes again, and I 
catch him, it will be the worse for him." He had 
scarcely finished speaking when another goblin sprang 
out from under the table. He looked like a little dog, 
for he had a very ragged waistcoat on, and he let his 
tongue hang out of his mouth. 

" He is not much better," said the King. " He barks 
like a dog, and is as strong as a giant. When people 
in their dreams are frightened at something, he holds 
their hands and feet so that they cannot move." 

" I know him, too," interrupted George. " When you 
want to run away, you feel as stiff and stark as a piece 
of wood. If you want to move your arms or your 
legs, you can't do it. But often it is not a dog, but a 
bear, or a robber, or some other horrid thing." 

" I will never allow them to come to you again, 
George the Dreamer," the King assured him. " Now 
come and see the bad Dreams. But don't be afraid, 
they won't do you any harm they are only for bad 
people." 

Then they passed through a great iron door into a 
vast space, inclosed by a high wall. Here the most 
terrible shapes and most horrible monsters were crowded 
together ; some looked like men, others like animals, 
others were half men and half animals. George was 
terrified, and made his way back to the iron door. But 



26 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the King spoke kindly to him, and persuaded him to 
see more closely what wicked people have to dream. 
Beckoning to a Dream that stood near a hideous 
giant, with a mill-wheel under each arm he commanded 
him to tell them what he was going to do that night. 

Then the monster raised his shoulders, wriggled about 
with joy, grinned until his mouth met his ears, and 
said : " I am going to the rich man, who has let his 
father starve. One day, when the old man was sitting 
on the stone steps before his son's house, begging for 
bread, the son came and said to the servants : ' Drive 
away that fellow.' So I go to him at night and pass 
him through my mill-wheels, until all his bones are 
broken into tiny pieces. When he is properly soft and 
quivering, I take him by the collar and shake him and 
say, ' See how you tremble now, you fellow ! ' Then 
he wakes up with his teeth chattering, and calls to his 
wife to bring him another blanket, for he is freezing. 
And when he has fallen asleep once more, I begin it 
all again." 

When George the Dreamer heard this, he rushed out 
through the door, dragging the King after him, and 
crying out that he would not stay a moment longer 
with the bad Dreams. They were too horrible ! 

The King next led him into a lovely garden where 
the paths were of silver, the beds of gold, and the flowers, 
beautifully cut precious stones. Here the good Dreams 
were walking up and down. The first he saw was a 
pale young woman, with a Noah's Ark under one arm, 
and a box of bricks under the other. 

" Who is that ? " asked the Dreamer. 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 27 

"She goes every evening to a little sick boy, whose 
mother is dead. He is quite alone all day, and no one 




" GJtORGE CRIED OUT THAT HE WOULD NOT STAY A MOMENT 

LONGER" (p. 26). 

troubles about him, but towards evening she goes to 
him, plays with him, and stays the whole night. She 



28 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

goes early, because he goes to sleep early. The other 
Dreams go much later. Let us proceed ; if you want 
to see everything, we must make haste." 

Then they went farther into the garden, into the 
midst of the good Dreams. There were men, women, 
old men, and children, all with dear, good faces, and 
most beautifully dressed. Many of them were carrying 
all sorts of things : everything that the heart can possibly 
wish for. Suddenly George stood still and cried out so 
loudly that all the Dreams turned round to look. 

"What is the matter?" said the King. 

" There is my Princess she who has so often appeared 
to me, and who gave me the roses," George the Dreamer 
answered, in an ecstasy. 

" Certainly, certainly, it is she," said the King. " Have 
I not sent you a very pretty Dream? It is almost the 
prettiest I have." 

Then George ran up to the Princess, who was sitting 
swinging in her little golden swing. As soon as she 
saw him coming she sprang down into his arms. But 
he took her by the hand and led her to a golden bench, 
on which they both sat down, telling one another how 
sweet it was to meet again ! And when they had 
finished saying so, they began again. The King of 
Dreams meanwhile walked up and down the broad path 
which goes straight through the garden, with his hands 
behind his back. Now and then he took out his watch, 
to see how the time was getting on ; for George the 
Dreamer and the Princess never came to an end of 
vhat they had to say to one another. At length he 
vent to them, and said : 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 29 

" That's enough, children. You, Dreamer, are far from 
your home, and I cannot keep you here over-night, for 
I have no beds. You see, the Dreams never sleep, but 
have to go up every night to men on the earth. And 
you, Princess, must make yourself ready; dress yourself 
all in pink, and then come to me, so that I may tell 
you to whom you must appear to-night, and what you 
must say." 

When George the Dreamer heard this, he felt more 
courageous than ever before in his life. Standing up, 
he said firmly : My lord the King, I will never more 
leave my Princess. You must either keep me here below 
or let her go up with me to the earth : I love her much 
too much to live without her." Then a tear big as a 
hazel-nut came into each of his eyes. 

"But George, George," answered the King, "it is the 
prettiest dream I have. Still, you saved my life ; so 
have your own way ; take your Princess up with you. 
But as soon as you have got on to the earth take 
off her silver veil, and throw it down to me through 
the trap-door. Then she will be of flesh and blood 
like every other child of man ; now she is only a 
Dream." 

George the Dreamer thanked the King most heartily, 
and then said : " Dear King, because you are so very 
good I should like to ask for one thing more. I have 
a Princess now but no kingdom. A Princess without 
a kingdom is impossible. Cannot you get me one, if 
it is only a small one ? " 

Then the King answered : " I have no visible kingdoms 
to give away, Dreamer, only invisible ones ; one of the 



30 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

latter you shall have, one of the biggest and best that 
I possess." 

Then George asked what invisible kingdoms were 
like. The King told him he would find that out, and 
would be amazed at their beauty and magnificence. 

" You see," he said, " it is often very unpleasant to 
have anything to do with ordinary, visible kingdoms. 
For example: suppose you are an ordinary King, and 
early one morning your Minister comes to your bedside 
and says: 'Your Majesty, I want a hundred pounds 
for the kingdom.' Then you open your treasury and 
find not even a farthing in it ! What are you to do ? 
Or again, you wage war and lose, and the King who 
has conquered you marries your Princess, and shuts you 
up in a tower. Such things cannot happen in invisible 
kingdoms." 

" But if we cannot see it, of what use would our 
kingdom be to us ? " asked George, still somewhat puzzled. 

"You strange man," said the King, and pointing to 
his forehead, he continued : " You and your Princess 
see it well enough. You see the castles and gardens, 
the meadows and forests which belong to your kingdom. 
You live in it, walk in it, do what you like with it. It 
is only other people who do not see it." 

Then the Dreamer was highly delighted, for he was 
beginning to be afraid lest the village people should 
look enviously at him if he came home with his Princess 
and was King. He took a very touching leave of the 
King of Dreams, climbed the five hundred steps with 
his Princess, took the silver veil off her head and threw 
it down. Then he wanted to shut the trap-door, but 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 3 1 

it was so heavy that he could not hold it. So he let 
it fall, and the noise it made was as great as the noise 
of many cannons shot off at the same time, and for a 




"THEY LIFTED UP THE CLOTH AND BEGAN TO SPREAD IT OUT" (/. 32). 

moment he became unconscious. When he came to 
himself again he was sitting in front of his cottage with 
the Princess sitting on the mill-stone at his side, and 
she was of flesh and blood like any other person. She 



32 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

was holding his hand, stroking it, and saying' : " You 
dear, good, stupid man, you have not dared tell me 
how much you love me for such a long time. Have 
you been very much afraid of me ? " 

And the moon rose and illumined the river, the waves 
beat against the banks, and the forest rustled, but they 
still sat there and talked. Suddenly it seemed as if a 
small black cloud was passing over the moon, and all 
at once something like a large folded shawl fell at their 
feet ; then the moon stood out again in her full glory. 
They lifted up the cloth and began to spread it out. 
But they took a long time over this, for it was very 
fine and folded many hundred times. When it was 
quite spread out, it looked like a large map ; in the 
middle was a river, and on both sides were towns, 
forests, and lakes. Then they noticed that it was a 
kingdom, and knew that the good Dream-King must 
have sent it down to them from the sky. And when 
they looked at their little cottage it had become a 
beautiful castle, with glass stairs, marble walls, velvet 
carpets, and pointed blue-tiled towers. Then they took 
hands and went into the castle, where their subjects 
were already assembled. The servants bowed low, drums 
and trumpets sounded, and little pages went before them 
strewing flowers. They were King and Queen. 

The next morning the news that George the Dreamer 
had come back, and had brought a wife with him, ran 
like wildfire through the village. " She is probably 
very clever," the people said. " I saw her early this 
morning, when I went into the forest," said a peasant; 
" she was standing at the door with him. She is nothing 



The Story of the Invisible Kingdom. 3 3 

special, quite an ordinary person, small and delicate- 
looking, and rather shabbily dressed. What did he see 
in her ? He has nothing, and she probably has nothing ! " 
So the stupid people chattered, for they could not see 
that she was a Princess ; and in their stupidity they 
did not see that the house had changed into a great, 
wonderful castle for the kingdom that had come down 
from the sky for George the Dreamer was an invisible 
one. So he did not trouble about the stupid people, 
but lived happily and contentedly in his kingdom with 
his Princess, who presented him with six children, each 
one more beautiful than the other, and they were all 
six Princes and Princesses. But no one in the village 
knew it, for they were quite ordinary people, and much 
too silly to notice it. 



How Sampo Lappelill saw the 
Mountain King. 




from tbe SweWeb ot 1. ftopelfus. 



FAR away in Lapland, at a place called Almlo, 
near the River Jana, there lived, in a little hut, a 
Laplander and his wife, with their small son, Sampo. 
Sampo Lappelill was now between seven and eight 
years of age. He had black hair, brown eyes, a snub 
nose, and a wide mouth, which last is considered a mark 
of beauty in curious Lapland. Sampo was a strong child 
for his age ; he delighted to dance down the hills in his 



38 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

little snow-shoes, and to drive his own reindeer in his OWH 
ittle sledge. The snow whirled about him as he passed 
through the deep drifts, until nothing of him could be 
seen except the tuft of his black forelock. 

" I shall never feel comfortable while he is from home ! " 
said the mother. "He may meet Hisii's reindeer with 
the golden antlers." 

Sampo overheard these words, and wondered what 
reindeer it could be that had golden antlers. " It must 
be a splendid animal ! " said he ; " how much I should 
like to drive to Rastekals with it ! " Rastekaia is a high, 
dreary mountain, and can be seen from Ai'mto, from which 
it is five or six miles distant. 

" You audacious boy ! " exclaimed the mother ; " how 
dare you talk so ? RastekaYs is the home of the trolls, 
and Hisii dwells there also." 

" Who is Hisii ? " inquired Sampo. 

"What ears that boy has!" thought the Lapp-wife. 
" But I ought not to have spoken of such things in his 
presence ; the best thing I can do now is to frighten 
him well." Then she said aloud : " Take care, Lappelill, 
that you never go near RastekaYs, for there lives Hisii, 
the Mountain King, who can eat a whole reindeer at one 
mouthful, and who swallows little boys like flies." 

Upon hearing these words, Sampo could not help 
thinking what good fun it would be to have a peep at 
such a wonderful being from a safe distance, of course ! 

Three or four weeks had elapsed since Christmas, 
and darkness brooded still over Lapland. There was no 
morning, noon, or evening ; it was always night. Sampo 
was feeling dull. It was so long since he had seen the 



Sampo Lappelill. 39 



sun that he had nearly forgotten what it was like. Yet 
he did not desire the return of summer, for the only thing 
he remembered about that season was that it was a time 
when the gnats stung very severely. His one wish was 
that it might soon become light enough for him to use 
his snow-shoes. 

One day, at noon (although it was dark), Sampo's father 
said : " Come here ! I have something to show you." 

Sampo came out of the hut His father pointed towards 
the south. 

" Do you know what that is ? " asked he. 

" A southern light," replied the boy. 

" No," said his father, " it is the herald of the sun. 
To-morrow, maybe, or the day after that, we shall see 
the sun himself. Look, Sampo, how weirdly the red light 
glows on the top of RastekaKs ! " 

Sampo perceived that the snow upon the gloomy 
summit, which had been so long shrouded in darkness, 
was coloured red. Again the idea flashed into his mind 
what a grand sight the terrible Mountain-King would be 
from a distance. The boy brooded on this for the 
remainder of the day, and throughout half the night, when 
he should have been asleep. 

He thought, and thought, until at length he crept 
silently out of the reindeer skins which formed his bed, 
and then through the door-hole. The cold was intense. 
Far above him the stars were shining, the snow scrunched 
beneath his feet. Sampo Lappelill was a brave boy, who 
did not fear the cold. He was, moreover, well wrapped 
up in fur. He stood gazing at the stars, considering what 
to do next 



40 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Then he heard a suggestive sound. His little reindeer 
pawed the ground with its feet. " Why should I not take 
a drive ? " thought Sampo, and proceeded straightway to 
put his thought into action. He harnessed the reindeer 
to the sledge, and drove forth into the wilderness of 
snow. 

" I will drive only a little way towards Rastekals," said 
Sampo to himself, and off he went, crossing the frozen 
River Jana to the opposite shore, which although the 
child was unaware of this fact belonged to the kingdom 
of Norway. 

As Sampo drove, he sang a bright little song. The 
wolves were running round his sledge like grey dogs, but 
he did not mind them. He knew well that no wolf could 
keep pace with his dear, swift little reindeer. Up hill 
and down dale he drove on, with the wind whistling in 
his ears. The moon seemed to be racing with him, and 
the rocks to be running backwards. It was thoroughly 
delightful ! 

Alas! at a sudden turning upon the downward slope 
of a hill the sledge overturned, and Sampo was pitched 
into a snow-drift. The reindeer did not observe this, and, 
in the belief that its master was still sitting behind it, 
it ran on. Sampo could not cry " Stop I " for his mouth 
was stuffed with snow. 

He lay there in the darkness, in the midst of the vast 
snowy wilderness, in which was no human habitation for 
miles around. 

At first, he naturally felt somewhat bewildered. He 
scrambled unhurt out of the big snow-drift. Then, by the 
wan moonlight, he saw that he was surrounded on all 



Sampo Lappelill. 



sides by snow-drifts and huge mountains. One mountain 
towered above the others, and this he knew must be 
RastekaYs, the home of the fierce Mountain King, who 
swallowed little boys like flies ! 




. 4 2). 



Sampo Lappelill was frightened now, and heartily wished 
himself safe at home. But how was he to get there ? 

There sat the poor child, alone in the darkness, amongst 
the desolate, snow-covered rocks, with the big, black 
shadow of Rastekafs frowning down upon him. As he 



42 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

wept his tears froze immediately, and rolled down over 
his jacket in little round lunps like peas ; so Sampo 
thought that he had better leave off crying, and run about 
in order to keep himself warm. 

" Rather than freeze to death here," he said to himself, 
" I would go straight to the Mountain King. If he has 
a mind to swallow me, he must do so, I suppose; but 
I shall advise him to eat instead some of the wolves in 
this neighbourhood. They are much fatter than I, and 
their fur would not be so difficult to swallow." 

Sampo began to ascend the mountain. Before he had 
gone far, he heard the trotting of some creature behind 
him, and a moment after a large wolf overtook him. 
Although inwardly trembling, Sampo would not betray 
his fear. He shouted : 

" Keep out of my way ! I am the bearer of a message 
to the King, and you hinder me at your peril ! " 

" Dear me ! " said the wolf (on RastekaYs all the animals 
can speak). " And, pray, what little shrimp are you, 
wriggling through the snow ? " 

" My name is Sampo Lappelill," replied the boy. " Who 
are you?" 

" I," answered the wolf, " am first gentleman-usher to 
the Mountain King. I have just been all over the 
kingdom to call together his subjects for the great sun 
festival. As you are going my way, you may, if 
you please, get upon my back, and so ride up the 
mountain." 

Sampo instantly accepted the invitation. He climbed 
upon the shaggy back of the wolf, and they went off 
at a gallop. 



Sampo Lappelill. 43 



" What do you mean by the sun festival ? " inquired 
Sampo. 

" Don't you know that ? " said the wolf. " We celebrate 
the sun's feast the day he first appears on the horizon 
after the long night of winter. All trolls, goblins, and 
animals in the north then assemble on Rastekals, and on 
that day they are not permitted to hurt each other. 
Lucky it was for you, my boy, that you came here to-day. 
On any other day, I should have devoured you long 
ago." 

" Is the King bound by the same law ? " asked Sampo 
anxiously. 

" Of course he is," answered the wolf. " From one hour 
before sunrise until one hour after sunset he will not 
dare to harm you. If, however, you are on the mountain 
when the time expires, you will be in great danger. For 
the King will then seize whoever comes first, and a 
thousand bears and a hundred thousand wolves will also 
be ready to rush upon you. There will soon be an end 
of Sampo Lappelill ! " 

" But perhaps, sir," said Sampo timidly, " you would 
be so kind as to help me back again before the danger 
begins ? " 

The wolf laughed. " Don't count on any such thing, 
my dear Sampo ; on the contrary, I mean to seize you 
first myself. You are such a very nice, plump little boy ! 
I see that you have been fattened on reindeer milk and 
cheese. You will be splendid for breakfast to-morrow 
morning ! " 

Sampo began to think that his best course might be 
to jump off the wolfs back at onee. But it was too late, 



44 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

They had now arrived at the top of RastekaYs. Many 
curious and marvellous things were there to be seen. 
There sat the terrible Mountain King on his throne of 
cloudy rocks, gazing out over the snow-fields. He wore 
on his head a cap of white snow-clouds ; his eyes were 
like a full moon ; his nose resembled a mountain-ridge 
His mouth was an abyss ; his beard was like tufts of 
immense icicles ; his arms were as thick and strong as 
fir trees; his coat was like an enormous snow-mountain. 
Sampo Lappelill had a good view of the King and his 
subjects, for a bow of dazzling northern lights shone 
in the sky and illuminated the scene. 

All around the King stood millions of goblins, trolls, 
and brownies ; tiny, grey creatures, who had come from 
remotest parts of the world to worship the sun. This 
they did from fear, not from love ; for trolls and goblins 
hate the sun, and always hope that he will never 
return when they see him disappear at the end of 
summer. 

Farther off stood all the animals of Lapland, thousands 
and thousands of them of all sizes ; from the bear, the 
wolf, and the glutton, to the little mountain-rat, and 
the brisk, tiny reindeer-flea. No gnats appeared, however ; 
they had all been frozen. 

Sampo was greatly astonished at what he saw. Un- 
observed, he slipped from the wolf's back, and hid behind 
a ponderous stone, to watch the proceedings. 

The Mountain King shook his head, and the snow 
whirled about him. The northern lights shone around 
his head like a crown of glory, sending long, red streamers 
across the deep blue sky ; they whizzed and sparkled, 



Sampo Lappelill. 



45 



expanded and drew together, fading sometimes, then again 
darting out like lightning over the snow-clad mountains. 




"THE TERRIBLE MOUNTAIN KING" (/. 44). 

This performance amused the King. He clapped with 
his icy hands until the sound echoed like thunder, causing 
the trolls to scream with joy, and the animals to howl 



46 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

with fear. At this the King was still more delighted, 
and he shouted across the desert : 

" This is to my mind ! Eternal darkness ! Eternal 
night ! May they never end ! " 

" May they never end ! " repeated all the trolls at the 
top of their voices. Then arose a dispute amongst the 
animals. All the beasts of prey agreed with the trolls, 
but the reindeer and other gentle creatures felt that they 
should like to have summer back again, although they 
disliked the gnats that would certainly return with it. 
One creature alone was ready to welcome summer quite 
unreservedly. This was the reindeer-flea. She piped out 
as loudly as she could : 

" If you please, your Majesty, have we not come here 
to worship the sun, and to watch for his coming ? " 

" Nonsense ! " growled a polar bear. " Our meeting 
here springs from a stupid old custom. The sooner it 
ends the better ! In my opinion, the sun has set for 
ever ; he is dead ! " 

At these words the animals shuddered, but the trolls 
and goblins were much pleased with them, and reiterated 
them gaily, shaking with laughter to such an extent that 
their tiny caps fell off their heads. Then the King roared, 
in a voice of thunder : 

" Yea ! Dead is the sun ! Now must the whole world 
worship me, the King of Eternal Night and Eternal 
Winter ! " 

Sampo, sitting behind the stone, was so greatly enraged 
by this speech that he came forth from his hiding-place, 
exclaiming : 

" That, O King, is a lie as big as yourself 1 The sun 




That, O King, is a lie as big as yourself!' exclaimed Sampo." 

page 46 



Sampo Lappelill. 47 

is not dead, for only yesterday I saw his forerunner. 
He will be here very shortly, bringing sweet summer 
with him, and thawing the icicles in your funny, frozen 
beard ! " 

The King's brow grew black as a thunder-cloud. 
Forgetful of the law, he lifted his tremendous arm to strike 
Sampo; but at that moment the northern light faded. 
A red streak shot suddenly across the sky, shining with 
such brilliancy into the King's face that it entirely dazzled 
him. His arm fell useless at his side. Then the golden 
sun rose in slow stateliness on the horizon, and that flood 
of glorious light caused even those who had rejoiced in 
his supposed death to welcome his re-appearance. 

But the goblins were considerably astonished. From 
under their red caps they stared at the sun with their 
little grey eyes, and grew so excited that they stood on 
their heads in the snow. The beard of the Mountain- 
King began to melt and drip, until it was flowing down 
his jacket like a running stream. 

By-and-by, Sampo heard a reindeer say to her little 
one: 

"Come, my child, we must be going, or we shall be 
eaten by the wolves." 

" Such will be my fate also if I linger longer," thought 
Sampo. So he sprang upon the back of a beautiful 
reindeer with golden antlers, which started off with him 
at once, darting down the rocks with lightning speed. 

" What is that rustling sound that I hear behind us ? " 
asked the boy presently. 

" It is made by the thousand bears ; they are pursuing 
us in order to eat us up," replied the reindeer. " You 



48 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

need not fear, however, for I am the King's own enchanted 
reindeer, and no bear has ever been able as yet to nibble 
my heels ! " 

They went on in silence for a time, then Sampo put 
another question. 

"What," asked he, "is that strange panting I hear 
behind us?" 

K That," returned the reindeer, " is made by the hundred 
thousand wolves; they are at full gallop behind us, and 
wish to tear us in pieces. But fear nothing from them ! 
No wolf has ever beaten me in a race yet 1 " 

Again Sampo spoke : 

"Is it not thundering over there amongst the rocky 
mountains ? " 

" No," answered the now trembling reindeer ; " that noise 
is made by the King, who is chasing us. Now, indeed, 
all hope has fled, for no one can escape him \ " 

" Can we do nothing ? " asked Sampo. 

" There is no safety to be found here," said the reindeer, 
"but there is just one chance for us. We must try to 
reach the priest's house over yonder by Lake Enare. 
Once there, we shall be safe, for the King has no power 
over Christians." 

" Oh, make haste ! make haste ! dear reindeer ! " cried 
Sampo, " and you shall feed on golden oats, and out of 
a silver manger." 

On sped the reindeer. As they entered the priest's 
house, the Mountain King crossed the courtyard, and 
knocked at the door with such violence that it is a wonder 
he did not knock the house down. 

"Who is there?" called the priest from within. 



Sampo Lappelill. 49 




50 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

" It is I ! " answered a thundering voice ; " it is the 
mighty Mountain King ! Open the door 1 You have 
there a child, whom I claim as my prey." 

" Walt a moment ! " cried the priest. " Permit me to 
robe myself, in order that I may give your Majesty a 
worthier reception." 

" All right ! " roared the King ; " but be quick about 
it, or I may break down your walls ! " A moment later 
he raised his enormous foot for a kick, yelling : " Are you 
not ready yet?" 

Then the priest opened the door, and said solemnly, 
" Begone, King of Night and Winter ! Sampo Lappelill 
is under my protection, and he shall never be yours ! " 

Upon this, the King flew into such a violent passion 
that he exploded in a great storm of snow and wind. 
The flakes fell and fell, until the snow reached the roof 
of the priest's house, so that every one inside it expected 
to be buried alive. But as soon as the sun rose, the 
snow began to melt, and all was well. The Mountain 
King had completely vanished, and no one knows exactly 
what became of him, although some think that he is 
still reigning on Rasteka'fs. 

Sampo thanked the priest heartily for his kindness, 
and begged, as an additional favour, the loan of a sledge. 
To this sledge the boy harnessed the golden-antlered 
reindeer, and drove home to his parents, who were 
exceedingly glad to see him. 

How Sampo became a great man, who fed his reindeer 
with golden oats out of a silver manger, is too lengthy 
a story to tell now. 



The Witch-Dancer's Doom. 



ITCH-DANCERS 
DOOM. 




i. 

LONG, long ago, in the days of good King Arthur, 
Count Morriss dwelt in the old chateau of La 
Roche Morice, near Landerneau, in Brittany. 
With him lived his beautiful niece, Katel. Although 
charming in face and figure, this maiden had a some- 
what uncanny reputation. For it was said and with 
reason that she was a witch. 

The Count had often urged Katel to marry, but in 
vain. The lady had no mind to lose her freedom. 
Dancing was the one passion of her life. " When," said 
she, " I can find a knight who shall be able to dance 
continuously with me for twelve hours, with no break, 
to him I promise to give my hand ! " 

This scornful challenge was proclaimed by heralds in 



54 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

every neighbouring town and hamlet. In response came 
many wooers to attempt the impossible task. Those 
whom Katel favoured she made her partners at the 
rustic fetes and open-air dances which were then in 
vogue. In the soft-swarded meadows, by sunlight or 
starlight, the dancers would meet, and, to the dreamy 
music of the pipes, eager couples would whirl until the 
hills around began to blush in the light of the early 
dawn. The wildest, giddiest, yet most graceful of the 
throng was Katel, who danced madly on until one by 
one her partners sank fainting upon the ground, and 
death released them from the heartless sorceress who had 
lured them into her toils. 

Thus perished many suitors, until the cruel maiden 
became an object of general hatred and horror. When 
her doings came to the ears of the Count, he sternly 
forbade her to attend any more of the dances. In 
order to enforce her obedience, he shut her up in a 
tower, where, said he, she was to remain until she should 
choose a husband from among such suitors as still per- 
sisted in offering her marriage. 

Now, Katel had a wizened little page, no bigger than 
a leveret, and as black as a raven's wing. This creature 
she summoned to her one morning before dawn, and, 
with her finger at her lips, she said to him : " Be swift 
and silent 1 My uncle still slumbers. Get thee gone by 
the ladder, and hie thee to the castle of Salaiin, who is 
waiting for a message from her he loves. The guards 
will allow thee to pass ; take horse, ride like the wind, 
and tell Salaiin that Katel calls him to deliver her 
from this tower before the day dawns," 



The Witch-Dancer's Doom. 55 




KATEL TURNED COLDLY AWAY " (/>. 57). 



5 6 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The infatuated young knight obeyed the summons 
immediately. In an hour's time he was assisting the 
lady to mount his horse, after having got her in safety 
down the rope-ladder. As, from the window of the 
donjon, the dwarf watched them ride away, he chuckled 
to himself: 

" Ha ! ha ! And so they are off to the great ball 
held to-day in the Martyrs' Meadow ! Ah, my dear 
Salaiin ! before another sun shall rise your death-knell 
will be tolled ! " 

II. 

WHEN Katel and her gallant cavalier arrived at the 
Martyrs' Me'adow, they excited general surprise and 
admiration. Some, however, shook their heads fore- 
bodingly, as they heard that Salaiin, now Katel's 
affianced lover, was to be her partner, for they knew 
that the brave young knight must needs fall a victim 
to her spell. 

The ball began. Some of the most skilful pipers in 
the land had been engaged for the occasion, and they 
played gavottes, rondes, courantes, and many other 
dances, without intermission. But Katel waited until 
night came and the torches were lit. Then she took 
Salaiin's hand and they began to dance together. 

" Round again ! Once more ! Ha ! ha ! " laughed the 
witch-maiden, as they spun along. " What ! are you 
tired already ? Do you give in so soon as this ? " 

" Never while I am with you \ " was the fervent 
reply. The fatal spell had begun to work. 

Thus on they whirled, yet more swiftly than before, 



The Witch-Dancer's Doom. 57 

so that the other dancers stood aside to watch them. 
After a time, however, Katel observed that her partner 
was gradually becoming weaker, and that he would soon 
be unable to keep pace with her. 

" Courage ! " exclaimed she, in a a bantering tone. 
" We cannot stop yet ; it wants but a very short time 
to midnight, and then I shall be yours ! " 

Salaiin, although almost exhausted, strained every 
nerve and muscle in a frantic, final effort to continue the 
dance. Round the field they flew, at lightning speed ; 
but it was for the last time. The knight's knees shook 
his breath came more quickly then with difficulty 
he gasped out the words: 

" Oh, Katel ! have mercy ! I can do no more ! Katel, 
my love, have I not won you yet?" 

But as he sank lifeless upon the grass Katel turned 
coldly away. His fate was nothing to her. At that 
moment the clock in a neighbouring tower struck 
twelve. All the lights flickered and expired ; darkness 
reigned supreme. And through the darkness, shrilling 
high above every other sound, rang the mocking laugh 
of the impish dwarf. 

III. 

" WHAT ! " exclaimed Katel derisively, glancing angrily 
at the worn-out pipers, who had at last p?used in their 
wild music, " exhausted already by such slight exertions ? 
I wish the Evil One would send me some musicians 
and dancers worthy of me ! Of what use are these 
miserable, puny creatures?" 

As she uttered the words, stamping her foot in her 



58 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

fury, a weird, red light gleamed in the sky ; there was 
a terrible peal of thunder, and a strange stir in the trees. 
Then suddenly, in the centre of the field, appeared two 
phantom forms, at the sight of whom the panic-stricken 
by-standers would fain have fled. To their horror, 
however, they found flight impossible ; they were rooted 
to the spot ! 

One of the phantoms was attired in a red garment, 
covered with a black cloak. Beneath his arm he held 
a large double pipe, coiled around which were five 
hissing, writhing serpents. The other stranger, who was 
exceedingly tall, was dressed in a tightly fitting black 
suit, and heavy, red mantle, while upon his head waved 
an imposing tuft of vultures' plumes. 

The ghostly piper began at once to play an unearthly 
dance-tune, so wild and maddening that it made all the 
hearers tremble. His tall, grim companion seized Katel 
by the waist, and the couple whirled round to the mad 
measure, which grew ever faster and more furious. In 
an instant the torches were relit. A few others joined 
in the dance ; not for long, however. Katel and her 
phantom were soon the only dancers. Shriller still 
shrieked the pipes, faster yet grew the music, more and 
more swiftly spun the feet. Ere long the witch-maiden 
felt that her strength was deserting her ; the torches 
swam before her eyes, and, in the last extremity of 
terror, she struggled to release herself from the iron grip 
which held her so relentlessly. 

"What! so soon tired?" cried the spectre, jeering at 
her. " Do you give in so soon as this ? Come ! round 
once more ! Ha ! ha ! " 



The Witch-Dancer's Doom. 59 

Thus was Katel treated as she had treated others. 
She had no breath left wherewith to answer ; her last 
hour had come. She made one more wild, despairing 
bound, then fell to the ground in the throes of death. 
At the same moment, the phantoms vanished. There 




"THE COUPLE WHIRLED ROUND TO THE MAD MEASURE" (p. 58). 

was a vivid lightning-blaze, a terrific crash of thunder ; 
then fell black darkness hiding everything. A tem- 
pestuous wind arose, and rain fell in torrents. 

When the storm had cleared, and the morning sun 
shone out, those who found courage to visit the spot 



60 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

beheld the forms of Katel and her lover Salaiin lying 
dead upon the shrivelled turf. 

Ever since that time, the spot has been shunned by 
all, and still, by their firesides on the winter nights, the 
peasants tell the tale of Katel, the witch-dancer, and her 
fearful fate. 



The Three Valleys. 




"THREE 





jfrom tbe German. 



IN olden days there lived a Count, who had many 
castles and estates, and a most beautiful daughter, 
but no one would associate with him, for it was 
rumoured he was in league with the Evil One ; indeed, 
from time to time one or other of his servants most 
mysteriously disappeared. 

The last who disappeared was the shepherd. One 
evening he did not return to the castle. Search was 
made for him throughout the village, but in vain ; no 
trace of him could be found. After this no one would 
enter the Count's service as shepherd ; but at last, a 
bold, handsome youth presented himself; he had 
travelled far as a soldier, and cared nothing for evil 
spirits. The Count immediately engaged him, and said 
he could take the sheep to feed wherever he liked, only 
he must never go into the three valleys to the east of 
the castle. For a time all went well ; the young man 
63 



64 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

drove the sheep into the rich meadows around the castle 
as his master had ordered, and led a very comfortable 
life. But he was always thinking of the three valleys, 
and being a brave youth who did not fear evil spirits, 
he one day took the crossbow and bolts he had used 
when soldiering, put a new string to his bow, and said, 
as he struck his rusty spear against the ground : 

" I will see who will venture to harm me in the three 
valleys ; it will fare badly with him, I think." 

Going towards the east, he soon arrived with his 
sheep in the first valley, where he found beautiful 
meadows in which he could safely leave his flock. He 
looked carefully around, but, except the butterflies 
fluttering to and fro, and the humming of the bees, there 
was neither sound nor movement. Then he sat down 
beneath an oak and began to play on his pipe ; suddenly, 
in the wood near, arose a crashing and cracking as if 
some mighty animal were breaking through the bushes, 
and, before our shepherd could fix a bolt in his cross- 
bow, a powerful giant stood before him and cried : 

"What are you doing here with your grass-eaters, de- 
stroying my meadows, you insolent fellow? You shall 
answer for this." 

He did not wait for an answer, but threw his spear 
with fearful force at the shepherd, who saved himself 
by springing behind the oak, into which the spear sank 
so deep that the point stuck out on the other side. 
Then, fixing a bolt into his cross-bow, the shepherd 
took aim, and struck the giant so skilfully in the centre 
of the forehead that he fell with a deep groan to the 
earth. Before he had time to rise, the shepherd bounded 



The Three Valleys. 65 

forward and ran his spear through his adversary's neckj 
nailing him to the ground, and his spirit soon fled. 




"A WELL-DIRECTED THRUCT SOON QUIETED HIM" (p. 6j). 

The shepherd took the giant's sword and armour, and 
was about to return home, when in an opening of the 
forest he saw a stately castle. The doors were wide 
open ; he entered. In the spacious hall stood a stone 

5 



66 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

table on which was a cup covered with a silver plate 
bearing these words : 

Who drinks of this cup 
Shall overcome the Evil One. 

The young man had no confidence in the words or 
the drink, and left the cup untouched. He laid the 
dead giant's armour in the hall ; then, taking the key 
of the door with him, he returned home with his flock, 
and went to rest without mentioning his adventure to 
any one. The next day he tended his sheep on the 
mountain slopes surrounding the castle, but the second 
day he could not rest ; so, girding on the sword he had 
taken from the dead giant, he started with his flock for 
the second valley, in hopes of fresh adventure. Here 
also were beautiful pastures, if possible richer and more 
luxuriant than in the first valley ; the flowers breathed 
forth their fragrance, the birds sang sweetly, and through 
the meadows meandered a stream clear as crystal, by 
whose bank the shepherd lay down to rest He was 
just thinking that all adventure and danger were past 
when an enormous block of rock fell on the ground 
near him, and a voice rough and wild, like that of a 
bear, said : " What are you doing here with your grass- 
eaters, you insolent fellow ? " And from behind a wall 
of rock stepped a mighty giant, brandishing a ponderous 
stone club. He aimed a blow at the shepherd, who 
ducked behind the rock which the giant had thrown as 
his first greeting, and the club descending on the stone, 
it broke in pieces from the force of the blow. 

Quick as lightning the youth drew his sword, and 



The Three Valleys. 67 

with one stroke cut through the sinews in the bend of 
the giant's knee, who fell to the earth with a loud roar. 
He struck out wildly with his fists, but a well-directed 
thrust through the heart soon quieted him. The shep- 
herd left him lying there, and turned towards the wall 
of rock ; here he found a massive door concealed 
amongst the thicket. Through this he passed, and 
entered a hall-like cavern, in which, at a stone manger, 
stood a snow-white horse ready saddled, and over the 
manger was engraved this saying : 

Who springs on this white horse 
Shall overcome the Evil One. 

Now, the shepherd thought : " I am strong enough to 
take care of myself, and I do not want to overcome 
the Evil One, he has always left me in peace ; but I 
will remember that here stands a fine horse on which I 
can ride forth into the wide world." He threw fresh 
oats into the manger, shut the door, and returned home. 
The next few days he remained very quiet, lest his 
movements might have been observed ; then, as no one 
questioned him, he one fine morning drove his sheep 
into the third valley. Beautiful meadows glittered in 
the sunshine ; from a hill of rock a waterfall plashed 
down, forming a small sea in which sported innumerable 
fish. The shepherd looked carefully around, searched 
under every bush, but found nothing. No sound was 
heard save the continued plash, plash, of the cool water. 
The day was very sultry, and the shepherd was just 
preparing for a bathe in the fresh, clear water, when 
from out a ravine near the sea appeared a horrible 



68 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

human head, with one eye, as large as a plate, in the 
centre of the forehead, and a voice loud as the roll of 
thunder shouted : " What do you want here, you insolent 
earth-worm ? " 

The head rose higher and higher, until a giant as 
high as a tower stood before the shepherd, who with a 
sure aim sent his lance into the eye of his adversary. 
The monster, thus blinded, groped wildly about with 
his hands, in hopes to strangle his enemy, but he only 
seized an oak, which he tore up by the roots and threw 
it high into the air. Now the victory was easy, for 
though the giant could no longer be hurt by cuts and 
thrusts, which slipped off from his body as from a 
mossy stone, the shepherd soon found other means. 
He mocked and insulted the blind giant, and by the 
sound of his voice drew him ever nearer and nearer to 
the sea, at the side where the cliff overhung the water. 
At last he sprang for a moment on the edge of the 
precipice, and gave a loud, mocking cry, then silently 
concealed himself behind a tree. The giant, deceived 
by the shout, pursued him eagerly, lost his footing, and 
fell heavily into the sea. 

Then the shepherd went down into the ravine from 
which the monster had appeared. Here lay a meadow 
full of beautiful flowers, in the midst of. which rose a 
spacious mansion, built of the trunks of trees. The 
shepherd entered the hall and saw a mighty spear, on 
whose shaft these words were cut : 

Who throws this lance 
Shall overcome the Evil One. 

He seized the spear, but his arms were too weak to 



The Three Valleys. 



69 



raise it, and he wearily laid the mighty weapon back 
in the corner ; at the same time he thought, since he 
had conquered three giants, he could surely overcome 
the Evil One without this lance. As the day drew to 
a close he gathered his sheep together and returned to 




" ' WHAT DO YOU WANT HERE ? ' " (p. 68). 

the castle. Arrived there, he was immediately summoned 
before the Count, who asked him angrily where he had 
been. The shepherd then truthfully related all that 
had happened in the three valleys, and how he had 
that day slain the giant as tall as a tower. 

" Woe to you and to me," replied the Count, with 



70 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

pale lips. " I heard the giants' cries of rage, and hoped 
you were paying for your disobedience with your life. 
But it has happened otherwise, and now I and my 
daughter must suffer because you, you insolent fellow, 
disobeyed my commands and entered the giants' terri- 
tories ; for it has been made known to me that to- 
morrow the mighty lord of the giants, the Prince of 
the Infernal Regions, will appear, and demand my 
daughter or me as a sacrifice ; but before that you, 
you miserable fellow, shall suffer all the agonies of 
torture, as a punishment for bringing me into this 
trouble. 

" Seize him ! " he cried to the servants who were 
standing in the entrance-hall. His command was 
at once obeyed, when the Count's daughter, who 
had listened with glowing cheeks to the shepherd's 
story, threw herself on her knees and implored for 
delay. 

" Dearest father," she cried, " should you not rather 
endeavour to make use of this brave youth for our 
deliverance than put him to the torture? He has 
overcome three giants ; surely he will be able to 
vanquish the Prince of the Infernal Regions." 

The Count remained for a few moments in deep 
thought, and then acknowledged that his daughter's 
suggestion was both good and clever. He asked the 
shepherd if he were willing to expiate his crime by a 
combat with the Evil One, and the young man, with a 
grateful look at his deliverer, at once agreed. With 
the first dawn of morning he rose from his couch, for 
he now recalled the words about overcoming the Evil 



The Three Valleys. 




"HE IMPLORED FOR DELAY" (j>. JO)* 



72 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

One, and hastened to the first valley, where in the 
castle stood the cup with the inscription : 

Who drinks of this cup 
Shall overcome the Evil One. 

He seized the cup and emptied it at one draught, 
and wonderful the magic draught flowed through his 
veins like fire, and he felt courage and strength enough 
to combat a whole army. With sparkling eyes he 
hastened to the second valley, mounted the white horse, 
who greeted him with a joyful neigh, and then galloped 
as if in flight to the third valley, in which stood the 
mighty lance. Yesterday he could scarcely move it ; 
to-day, with one hand, he swung it high over his head, 
as if it had been a small arrow. 

By sunrise he was again at the Count's castle, 
waiting eagerly for what would happen, but the day 
passed and no one appeared. The sun had sunk to 
rest, and the moon had just risen in all her splendour, 
when in the north of the heavens was seen what appeared 
to be a dark storm-cloud. With the speed of lightning 
it approached the castle, and a voice, as of a bassoon, 
sounded from out the cloud : " Where are my propitiatory 
sacrifices ? " At the same time a gigantic eagle, with 
greenish-grey wings, like the storm-cloud, hovered high 
over the castle, ready to swoop down on his prey. 
Then the young man set spurs into his white horse, 
and shaking his lance high above his head, cried with 
a loud voice : " There are no sacrifices here for you, 
you robber 1 Begone instantly, or you shall feel my 
arrows ! " On hearing these words, the eagle swooped 




"The eagle swooped down with a wild cry." 



Page 72 



The Three Valleys. 73 

down with a wild cry, before the shepherd could take 
his cross-bow, and the young man would certainly 
have perished had it not been for his presence of mind 
and the strength and activity of his steed. A touch 
with the spur, and it flew swift as the wind under a 
very old and thickly leaved linden tree, whose branches 
hung down almost to the ground, so that the eagle 
could only break in through the side. 

This the bird at once attempted, and it caused his 
death, for his outspread wings became entangled in the 
branches, and the brave rider, with one powerful blow 
of his sword, severed the head from the body. But, 
oh, horror ! instead of blood there came forth from 
the headless body of the eagle a huge serpent, who, 
with wide-open jaws, approached the shepherd and 
tried to enfold him in the rings of its flexible body. 
By a skilful movement, it encircled the horse and 
rider, and crushed them until the young man thought 
he should be forced into the body of his steed ; but 
the horse pressed himself so close against the tree that 
the head of the serpent came round on the other side 
of the trunk, and thus it was hindered from harming 
the shepherd with its poisonous bite or breath. One 
stroke of the shepherd's sharp dagger, and the body of 
the serpent fell in two pieces to the ground ; the horse 
immediately trampled on the head. But the hinder 
part of the serpent swelled and swelled, the cut became 
a frightful mouth, which spurted out smoke and flames, 
while from the rings of the serpent's body grew forth 
claws and wings, and at last a horrible monster in the 
form of a dragon threw itself on the shepherd, whose 



74 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

strength had already begun to fail through the dreadful 
pressing of the serpent. But in his greatest need a 
saving thought occurred to him he turned his horse 
round : it broke through the branches of the linden 
tree into the open field, and sped with its rider to the 
nearest stream, in whose waters they both cooled them- 
selves. The dragon snorted after them, spitting forth 
fire and smoke. But as the head of the serpent, from 
whose body the dragon had grown, had been destroyed, 
there was no deadly poison in its breath, and the rider 
was safe from the flames through bathing in the stream. 
So he rode boldly towards the approaching dragon with 
lance in rest, and tried to approach it from the side ; 
but all his blows glanced off from its scaly body as 
from a coat of mail. Suddenly it occurred to him to 
thrust his lance down the monster's throat. He turned 
his horse and spurred him straight towards the dragon, 
and thrusting his lance through the smoke and flame, 
stuck it right into the creature's throat He was obliged 
to leave his lance, for his horse, singed by the fiery 
breath of the dragon, bounded far to one side ; but the 
monster did not attempt to follow them, the lance had 
stuck deep into its body. It struck wildly with its 
tail on the ground, until the earth burst, then it shivered 
and fell over, first on its side, then on its back, a 
stream of fire poured forth from its wide-open jaws, 
and with the flames its life passed away. 

Thus was the combat ended and the Evil One 
subdued. Joyfully the shepherd rode back to the Count 
and his daughter, and told them all that had happened. 
The Count, embracing him, said : " You are our deliverer, 



The Three Valleys. 



75 



to you I owe my life and all that I possess : take the 
half of whatever is mine, or choose from it whatever 
pleases you." 




"WITH THE FLAMES ITS LIFE PASSED AWAY 1 ' (f>. 74). 

The shepherd gazed earnestly into the eyes of the 
Count's lovely daughter, and replied : 

" I know of nothing, Sir Count, in the whole world 



7 6 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

which is dearer to me than your daughter. Give her 
to me for my wife, if she be willing." 

The Count smiled. " Are you willing, my child ? " 
" I love him more than words can express," said the 
maiden, and sank on the breast of the shepherd. 

The next day the marriage was celebrated with 
great splendour, and when Heaven had blessed their 
union with children, and these were grown up, the hero 
of this story, a shepherd no longer, used to say to his 
sons when telling them of his adventures : " There are 
three things by which one can subdue giants and evil 
spirits, and become great : courage, perseverance, and 
presence of mind." 



The Springtide of Love. 




flortb 
(flfcrs. Egerton EastwicR). 

THE mists of the early twilight were falling, and 
Elsa, the little girl who lived at the wood- 
man's cottage, was still far from home. She 
had wandered out in the spring sunshine in search of 
the bluebells and wild anemones with which the wood 
abounded, for the child loved the company of the birds 
and flowers better than the rough play of the boys 
who were called her brothers. 

The woodman and his wife said she was strange and 
dreamy, full of curious fancies which they found it 
hard to understand; but, then, they were not Elsa's 
real parents, which might account for their difficulty. 
They were kind to her, however, in their fashion, and 
Elsa always tried to remember to obey them ; but 
sometimes she forgot. She had forgotten to-day for 



8o The Diamond Fairy Book. 

although the good wife had told her to remain near 
the cottage, the eagerness of her search for the flowers 
she loved had led her farther into the wood than she 
had ever been before. 

The sunlight disappeared, and the darkness seemed 
to come quite suddenly under the thick branches of 
the trees ; the birds had chanted their last evening 
song and gone to their nests only a solitary thrush 
sang loudly just overhead ; Elsa thought it was warn- 
ing her to hurry homewards. She turned quickly, 
taking as she thought the direction of the cottage ; but 
as she was barely seven years old, and felt a little 
frightened, it is not surprising that she only plunged 
deeper into the wood. t 

Now she found herself in the midst of a great 
silence; the beautiful tracery of young green leaves 
through which she had hitherto caught glimpses of 
the sky had disappeared, and over her head stretched 
only bare brown branches, between which she saw the 
shining stars, clear as on a frosty winter's night. The 
stars looked friendly, and she was glad to see them, 
but it was growing dreadfully cold. The plucked 
flowers withered and fell from her poor little numbed 
hands, and she shivered in her thin cotton frock. 

Ah! what would she not have given for a sight of 
the open door and the fire in the woodman's cottage, 
and a basin of warm bread and milk, even though it 
was given with a scolding irom the woodman's wife ! 
She struggled on, with her poor little tired feet, for 
it seemed to her that the wood was growing thinner 
perhaps there might be a house hereabouts. 



The Springtide of Love. 81 

But, oh ! how terribly cold. Now there was frost 
upon the ground at her feet, frost upon dead leaves 
and blades of grass, frost upon the bare tree branches. 
The moon had risen, and she could see that all the 
world around her was white and chill and dead. 
Surely she had wandered back into the cruel bitter 
winter, frost-bound and hard. 

It was strange that she had strength to go on, but 
she looked up at the stars, and thought that they were 
guiding her. At length she came to the border of 
the wood, and there stretched before her a wide, open 
space, with only a few trees scattered here and there, 
and through an opening of the trees the cold moon 
shone down upon a white, silent house. 

The house looked as dead and winter-bound as 
everything else ; but still it was a house, and Elsa 
said to herself that surely some one must live in it. 
So she thanked the friendly stars for leading her aright, 
and with what remaining strength she had, dragged 
her poor little numbed feet up the broad path or road 
between the trees. At the end of the road an iron 
gate hung open upon its hinges, and Elsa found her- 
self in what once had been a garden. Now the lawns 
and flower-beds were all alike one blinding sheet of 
ice and frozen snow. 

But, oh, joy! there was the great white house, and 
from one window shone a light, surely the light of a 
fire. All the rest was dark. Up a flight of stone steps 
the child dragged her weary feet, across a terrace that 
had surely once been gay with flowers, until she stood 
before a huge door, brown and black, except where 

6 



82 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the .frost gleamed, closed and barred with iron bars. 
The great knocker hung high above her reach; but 
with her poor little hands she beat against the wood- 
work Surely, if some one did not let her in soon, she 
must fall down there and sleep and die upon the step. 
But at the sound of her faint knocking there came 
from within the deep baying of a hound, and Elsa 
was terrified anew, but could not run away ; then in a 
few moments a heavy bar seemed to be withdrawn 
and the great door opened slowly. 

A tall man stood within a man in the dress of a 
hunter, pale-faced in the moonlight, but strong and 
powerful, and wearing a long, dark beard that reached 
almost to his waist. His was a figure to fill any child 
with fear, but Elsa saw only the scene behind him. A 
great blazing wood fire upon an open hearth, with 
rugs in front of it upon which were stretched two large 
hounds ; a third, shaking himself slowly, had followed 
his master to the door. Elsa stretched out her little 
hands to the blazing warmth, with the cry of a perish- 
ing child. 

" Take me in oh ! take me in ! " she pleaded. 
" Please let me come in ! " 

She ran forward. Then with a strange hoarse sound, 
that she did not understand, the man stooped and 
lifted her in his arms, and carried her forward and 
laid her gently down upon the rugs in the grateful 
warmth, and the hounds sniffed round her and seemed 
well pleased, and ready to welcome her and for a 
little while she remembered no more. 

When Elsa came to herself (she thought she must 



The Springtide of Love. 83 

have been asleep, but the waking was a little strange 
and difficult) she found that she was propped up among 
soft cushions still upon the rugs ; the dogs now lay 




" HER NEW FRIEND WAS OBLIGED TO FEED HER " (p. 84). 

at a respectful distance, each with his forepaws 
stretched out and his nose held between them, while 
with gleaming eyes he watched with keenest interest 
all that going was on. 



84 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The rough -looking man with the long, dark beard 
and the pale face knelt beside her, holding a basin of 
warm, steaming broth. Then Elsa sat up and tried to 
drink, but she was so weak with fatigue and cold that 
her new friend was obliged to feed her with a spoon, 
which he did rather awkwardly. After she had swal- 
lowed the broth, the warm blood flowed once more 
freely through her veins, and she sank into a deep, 
sweet sleep, her little head falling serenely against the 
stranger's breast and her hair spreading out in golden 
waves over the arm that held her. 

When Elsa once more opened her eyes, the cold 
grey light of morning fell through the uncurtained 
windows into the hall. She found herself lying on a 
couch covered with rugs of warm fur, at the side of 
the hearth, where logs of pine wood, newly kindled, 
leapt and blazed, filling the air with sweet, pungent 
odours. 

For a while she was bewildered, wondering how she 
came to be there, instead of in her little room at the 
woodman's cottage. Then she saw her friend of the 
night before kneeling in front of the fire, evidently 
preparing food, while the dogs, grouped around, sat 
on their haunches with ears erect, keen and observant, 
watching his movements. Then Elsa remembered ; and 
she clapped her hands with a merry laugh, the laugh 
of a happy, waking child. The man kneeling by the 
fire started at the sound, and then turned his grave 
face towards her with a wistful expression strange to 
see. 

11 1 want to get up," said Elsa promptly. " If you 



The Springtide of Love. 85 

please, I can wash and dress myself; I've been taught 
how." 

" Wait a few minutes, little lady, then you shall have 
all you want." 

The voice sounded strangely, and the man seemed 
listening to its tones as though surprised to hear him- 
self speak. But the rough, halting accents seemed less 
out of keeping with the old house than Elsa's laugh. 
The dogs came and licked her hands, and she played 
with them until the man rose from his place before 
the fire, and lifting her up bade her come with him. 

He led her to a small room off the hall, which was 
indeed curious in its arrangements. A toilet-table 
stood there with most costly fittings ; brushes with 
silver and ivory handles were lying upon the faded 
silk ; a little pair of satin shoes had been thrown care- 
lessly upon the floor ; a cloak of crimson satin was 
flung over a chair. All these things looked as though 
a hand had cast them aside but yesterday yet all 
were faded and soiled, and the dust lay thick as though 
that yesterday had been many years ago. 

And among these relics of an unknown past the 
child made her simple toilet. She had never seen such 
magnificence, or felt, she thought, so sad. But when 
she returned to the hall ten minutes later, the sadness 
was forgotten. 

She looked a quaint little figure, indeed, clad in a 
silken wrapper provided by her host, which trailed far 
behind on the ground, greatly to her delight ; her little 
feet were cased in dainty slippers which, small as they 
were, yet were many sizes too large. In spite of misfits, 



86 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

however, she contrived to walk with a stately grandeur 
quite amazing to behold, until the dogs jumped and 
fawned upon her, when she forgot her finery in a game 
of play and lost her slippers in the rug. 

On the table, a breakfast was rudely spread : cold 
meats for the master of the house, who fed his dogs 
from his own plate, while for Elsa was provided a bowl 
of goat's milk and some crisp cakes, which she thought 
delicious. 

When the meal was over, Elsa pleaded to be allowed 
to do for her new friend the household duties she had 
been taught to fulfil by the woodman's wife ; and soon, 
with the wrapper deftly pinned about her waist, and 
the silken sleeves tucked up from bare and dimpled 
arms, she stood before a bowl of steaming water, wash- 
ing plates and dishes. Only the table was rather high, 
and she was forced to stand upon a stool. 

From that day a strange new life began for little 
Elsa. 

The rough-looking man who had given her shelter 
seemed to be living quite alone with his dogs. Every 
morning he went out with them and his gun, appar- 
ently to hunt and shoot in the forest, for he usually 
returned laden with game, which served to keep the 
larder stocked. 

Of other kinds of provisions there seemed to be a 
plentiful supply on the premises ; the granaries were 
well stocked with corn, which the master ground him- 
self, while some goats tethered in the outhouses gave 
a sufficient quantity of milk for the daily needs of the 
little household. 



The Springtide of Love. 87 

Of Elsa's return to the woodman's cottage there 
seemed to be no question. She was terrified at the 
thought of being again lost in the wood, and pleaded 




SHE LOOKED A QUAINT LITTLE FIGURE " (/. 8$). 



hard to remain with her new friend, who, on his side, 
was equally loth to part with her. 

Soon, having learned many useful ways from the 
woodman's wife, she became a clever little housekeeper. 



88 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

and could make a good stew, while Ulric, as the master 
of the house bade her call him, was out with his dogs 
in the forest, though now only two of the hounds 
accompanied him in his expeditions ; one was always 
left as Elsa's companion and guardian. Then, too, she 
could milk and feed the goats, and keep the house- 
place clean and tidy. But all the day was not given 
to such work as this. 

When Ulric had returned, and they had dined to- 
gether, he would bring the great carved wooden chair 
with the huge back up to the fire, and Elsa would 
fetch a stool to his side and busy herself with needle 
and thread, while he told her strange stories ; or some- 
times he would fetch a ponderous volume from a library 
the house contained and read, either to himself or aloud 
to her, such things as she could understand. 

Now, if you wonder where Elsa found the needle 
and thread which I have mentioned, I must tell you 
that Ulric had given her a little work-basket neatly 
fitted, but the silk lining of which was much faded, and 
some of the needles were rusty. There was in it also a 
golden thimble, which Elsa found a little too large. 

And as for the clothes she worked at, one day he 
brought her a quantity of beautiful garments, some of 
silk and satin, and some of fine cloth, and in these, 
having nothing of her own but her one poor little 
cotton frock, the child managed to dress herself, till 
she looked like a quaint little fairy princess. Her 
stitches were awkward and badly done at first, but as 
time went on, instinct helped her small knowledge, and 
she grew handy with her needle. 



The Springtide of Love. 89 

When she was cooking and feeding the goats, she 
wore a woollen petticoat and an apron, a costume more 
suited to the occasion. 




*HE WOULD READ ALOUD TO HER*' (/>. 88). 

In the evenings Ulric taught her many things : to 
read and to write, and even to speak in strange 
languages, so that her education was by no means 



90 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

neglected. He let her wander over the great mansion 
where she would, and showed her many of the rooms 
himself. All bore signs of having been used quite 
recently, and yet a long time ago. Dust was thick 
everywhere, and soon Elsa grew to understand that 
the dust must remain and accumulate ; no hand was 
to be allowed to touch anything in that strange, silent 
house beyond the hall and the little room which Ulric 
had arranged for her sleeping apartment. One part 
of the mansion, however, she never penetrated. At 
the end of a long passage hung a heavy velvet curtain, 
and behind this was a door, always securely locked. 
Only Ulric passed beyond it, at stated times, and when 
he returned from these visits he was more than usually 
sad for many hours. 

The weeks slipped into months, and Elsa dwelt on 
in this strange home. Every day at first she looked 
eagerly for the breaking of the frost for the promise 
of the sunshine and flowers she had left behind her in 
the wood. But the spring never came. The bitter 
cold and the frost continued, and in time the child's 
heart must have frozen too, but for the strong, warm 
love which had sprung up within it for Ulric. 

Old and thoughtful she grew, beyond her years, but 
never unhappy. Ulric needed her, was glad of her 
presence ; she could minister to his wants and brighten 
his sad life. 

So Ulric's love grew more to her than the flowers 
and sunshine of the outer world ; to think of leaving 
him now would break her heart, but she wondered 
often over the mystery that shadowed his life and hers. 



The Springtide of Love. 91 

And the months grew to years, and Elsa was twelve 
years old. 

Then one evening Ulric came in from one of his visits 
to the closed chamber, more sad and thoughtful even 
than usual, and taking Elsa's hand in his, bade her 
sit beside him for a little while and put aside her 
work. She came obediently, looking anxiously into 
his face. 

" Little Elsa," he said, " I have counted the time, 
and it is now five years since you came to me. You 
told me then you were seven years old, now you are 
therefore twelve, and will soon be growing into a 
maiden. The time has come " 

Instinctively the child clasped his hand closer. 

" Not to part us, father ? " (for so she had learned to 
call him.) 

" That, my child, must rest with you." 

"Then it is soon settled," said Elsa, trying to laugh, 
" for I will never leave you." 

Something like the light of hope shone in the 
man's clouded eyes eyes in which Elsa had never 
seen a smile, although his lips had smiled at her 
often. 

" Listen," he said ; " before you speak rash words, I 
must tell you all. Then you shall decide. 

" It is a little more than eleven years since the curse 
fell upon me. I was a hard man then, Elsa hard 
and cruel and strong it was my boast that I never 
forgave a debt, or pardoned an enemy. 

" I had married a young and beautiful wife, and her 
I loved passionately, but in my own hard and selfish 



92 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

fashion. Often I refused to heed even her gentle 
pleadings for the suffering, the sinful, and the poor. 
And we had one child a girl then only a few months 
old. 

" It was a New Year's Eve that I decided upon 
giving a great entertainment to all the country round. 
I did it for my own glorification. Among the rich I 
was disliked, but tolerated on account of my position ; 
by the poor far and wide I was feared and hated. 

" Every one invited came to my ball. My wife looked 
exquisitely lovely, more lovely I thought than on our 
bridal day everything ministered to my pride and 
satisfaction. 

" We had mustered here, here in this hall, to drink the 
health of the dying year and welcome the incoming 
of the new, when above the sounds of laughter and 
good cheer was heard from without a pitiful, feeble 
wail the wail of a child in pain. That feeble cry 
rang then above every other sound it rings in my 
heart still. 

" Before I could interfere, my wife, with her own 
hands, had flung wide the great barred door, and I 
saw a sight which I alone could explain. 

"Upon the step was huddled a woman, with a child 
in her arms. A^man, gaunt and hunger-stricken, towered 
behind her in the darkness ; two other children clung 
to her, shivering and weeping. We were in the midst 
of the cruel, bitter winter ; the earth was frost-bound, 
hard and cold, even as now. That day I had given 
orders that these people, poor and starving as they 
were, should be turned from their home. The man I 



The Springtide of Love. 



93 



had suspected of being a poacher, and he was doing no 
work a good-for-nothing but she, my wife, had pleaded 
for them that I would wait, at least, until the summer. 
Now she bent down to that poor creature on the step, 




"'MOTHER, AWAKE!' SHE SAID" (p. 95). 

who was striving to nurse and warm her babe in her 
chill arms, and whispered something I guessed it was 
a promise of shelter. 

" In my fierce pride and anger I laid my hand upon 
her arm, and with a strong grip drew her back then 
without a word I closed the door and barred it. But 



94 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

within there was no more laughter. A voice rose upon 
the still night air the sound of a bitter curse a curse 
that should rest upon me and mine, the chill of winter 
and of death, of pitiless desolation and remorse, until 
human love should win me back to human pity and 
God's forgiveness. 

" One by one, with cold good- nights, my guests de- 
parted. My wife stole away to her own apartments 
without a word ; upon her arm I saw the mark of my 
cruel hand. 

"In the morning the curse had fallen. The woman 
I had turned away had been found at my gates, dead, 
her child still clasped to her breast. 

"The servants fled and left me alone, taking with 
them our child ; my wife that night she, too died 
to me." 

The man's head drooped upon his hands. For a 
moment there was silence in the hall. 

Elsa stood her child's heart grieved at the terrible 
story, her whole nature sorrowing, pitiful, shocked. 

Presently Ulric recovered himself and continued : 
" Now, Elsa, you know all. My child, if you will return 
to the world and leave me to work out my fate, you 
shall not go penniless. I have wealth. For your sake 
I will venture once more among the haunts of men and 
see you placed in a safe home, then I will try to 
forget It is right that you should shrink." 

" Father, dear father, I love you you are sorry I 
will not leave you do not send me away." 

A look almost of rapture changed the worn and tear- 
stained face of the man who had owned his sin and 



The Springtide of Love. 95 

the child's arms closed once more around his neck, 
and her golden head nestled to his breast. A few 
minutes later he led her to the closed chamber. To- 
gether they passed beyond it, and Elsa found herself 
standing in a richly furnished room. 

Near a window was a couch covered with dark velvet, 
and upon the couch a figure lay stretched as if in quiet, 
death-like sleep, or carved in marble. The figure was 
that of a young and very fair woman. Her dress of 
white satin had yellowed with time ; her hands were 
clasped upon her breast as though in prayer ; her golden 
hair lay unbound upon the pillow. 

" It is fitting now," said Ulric, " that you should come 
here." 

Softly Elsa advanced. She stood beside the couch, 
gazing down upon the still, white face, so sweet in its 
settled grief, but which in this long silence seemed to 
have lost its first youth. Elsa bent lower, lower. What 
new instinct filled her warm, young heart, and made 
her speak ? 

" Mother, awake ! " she said. " Mother ! " and kissed 
the cold, quiet lips. 

Was it a ray of sunlight that stole through the open 
window and trembled upon the mouth, curving it into 
a smile? Slowly the dark eyes opened and rested with 
a look of ineffable love upon Elsa's face. 

And so the curse and the shadows of eternal winter 
passed away from the house of Ulric, and his young 
bride came back from her long slumber. In due time 
the garden, too, awoke to the touch of spring, and the 
flowers bloomed, and the birds mated once more and 



96 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

sang in budding trees, and the sun shone. And Elsa's 
love bound closely together the hearts of her father 
and mother; for perhaps you have been clever enough 
to find out that the woodman's wife was the nurse who 
had carried away with her in her flight Ulric's little 
daughter on the night of the New Year's ball. 



Ringfalla Bridge. 




ft. J6. Sutter, 



ONCE upon a time there lived a King who had 
two kingdoms to govern his own always the 
perfection of law and order, while the other 
was given over to confusion and rebellion, which, strive 
as he would, got ever worse instead of better. 

It had been the worry of his life ever since he began 
to reign and as he had no son to help him, he was 
obliged to find a ruler for it among his Ministers, but 
not one of them, however clever, could manage to 
control its unruly inhabitants. 

Sometimes, at long intervals, he even went to live 
there himself, on which occasions his troubles in regard 
to it multiplied so exceedingly that he swore they 
were half demons, as the name of their kingdom, 



ioo The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Nokkeland, proved, and for his part he wished they 
could find an evil spirit like themselves to govern them 
in his stead, as no mere mortal could. And then, as he 
could think of nothing else, he called a council of his 
most trusted chiefs, and conferred with them ; but as 
they had all given their best consideration to the subject 
many times before, none of them could come to any 
more brilliant conclusion than formerly. 

Therefore King Kaftan said he would hunt on the 
morrow to distract his mind, so a great party set forth 
at daybreak, and scoured the woods far and near, but no 
sport could they get ; no fourfooted beast could they 
find excepting rabbits, and they were everywhere. 

Unwilling to return empty-handed, and hoping for 
better luck on the morrow, the King gave the order 
to camp in the wood. Some of the men were catching 
rabbits for supper, whilst others were making fires to 
cook them, when just as the last rim of the sinking sun 
disappeared below the horizon, a beautiful hart as white 
as snow with antlers and hoofs of gold, suddenly 
appeared, and walked leisurely down the glade towards 
the sunset. 

Instantly, with one accord, King, courtiers, huntsmen, 
and servants rushed off in hot pursuit, helter-skelter 
over each other, on foot, on horseback, armed or 
unarmed, just as they found themselves when it first 
appeared. The King, who had not dismounted, was 
ahead of the others, and urged his steed with whip 
and spur ; but poor Rolf was very weary, and do as 
he would, his master could get no nearer to his 
quarry. 



Ringfalla Bridge. 101 

Night was rapidly closing in when the King found 
himself far ahead of his attendants, and alone with a 
spent horse in a part of the forest where he had never 
been before, and miles from any human habitation. 

More and more faltering grew Rolf's jaded pace, and 
in proportion as it slackened, slower went the hart. 
The King's pulses quivered with excitement. He leapt 
from the saddle, drew his dagger, and prepared to follow 
on foot ; but, to his astonishment, the beast had turned 
and was coming slowly towards him, the moonlight 
turning his antlers to silver, and gleaming on his milk- 
white coat. 

Half instinctively, the King had raised his dagger, 
when the hart stopped and spoke in courteous, but 
authoritative tones. 

" Stay thy hand and know that I also am a King in 
my own country. I have much to say to thee, therefore 
follow me and fear nothing." 

So King Kaftan followed, wondering, until the hart 
stopped before a great rock, overhung with a tangle 
of eglantine and honeysuckle and pushing aside the 
fragrant curtain dexterously with his horns, disclosed 
what appeared to be the mouth of a cave. Entering 
this, closely followed by the King, they proceeded for 
some way in almost total darkness. Gradually it grew 
lighter and the path wider, when the King perceived, to 
his amazement, that the illumination proceeded from 
countless numbers of bats, ridden by small imps carrying 
lighted glow-worms. 

Presently they came to a spacious garden, where all 
the trees were lighted by coloured lamps hanging among 



IO2 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the branches, and the air was rilled with music and 
perfume. 

Within the garden was a great pavilion of purple silk, 
most gorgeously emblazoned with scarlet and gold, and 
having a Royal banner floating from the roof. 

Within was a table, covered with every variety of food 
and wine, lavishly decorated with flowers and gold 
plate, and laid for two. Here the hart entertained his 
Royal guest to supper, and after he was completely 
refreshed and rested, handed him an enamelled box, 
which, on being opened, disclosed a clay pipe, blackened 
with much use, a tinder, and a flint 

" Smoke, O King ! " said the host ; " unfortunately I 
cannot join you ; and now to explain why I have lured 
you from your own people to my enchanted land. 

" I know your difficulties in Nokkeland, because for 
one reason we are very near neighbours, though 
probably you are unaware of it The people who 
inhabit that kingdom are descended from a water fiend, 
and the turbulent instincts inherited from him can never 
be quelled until the power of the Neck, who rules the 
river between your kingdom and theirs, is broken. Now, 
the Neck is my enemy as well as yours, and if you 
will ally yourself with me and follow my counsels, you 
will have peace, honour, and happiness for the rest of 
your life in all probability." 

" I am ready," said the King, " only tell me what to 
do ; the Klavs are the plague of my life, but from what 
you say success even then is by no means a certainty." 

" Much depends on luck," said the hart, " and to 
neither your Majesty nor myself is it given to do much. 



Ringfalla Bridge. 



103 



You have three daughters, Solveig, Ulva, and little 
Kirsten ; one of them must go over Ringfalla Bridge 
without stumbling and without speaking one word. 




M AN ENAMELLED BOX* (/>. IO2). 

This done, your troubles and my own are at an 
end." 

Now, Ringfalla Bridge it was that spanned the river 
between King Kaftan's own territory and that of the 
Klavs, and what between the Klavs themselves and the 



IO4 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Neck who inhabited the river, it had a very evil 
reputation indeed. 

The King looked grave, and then he laughed rather 
grimly. " There won't be much difficulty about that," he 
said "To cross it has been the desire of their hearts 
ever since they were babies ; it is only my strict orders 
that keep them from it." 

" She who undertakes it must go of her own free will, 
and if she accomplishes it without stumbling and without 
speaking, the kingdom is saved." Those were the last 
words of the hart ere bidding the King good-night, and 
they were ringing in his ears when he awoke in the 
morning. But he was no longer lying on the silken 
cushions on which he had rested the night before. 
Pavilion, garden, and hart had vanished, the sun was 
high in the heavens, he was lying on a heap of moss 
and ferns in the wood, with Rolf standing over him 
and thrusting his soft nozzle into his face. 

The King was greatly perplexed as to whether all 
the events of the preceding night had actually happened, 
or if he had only dreamt them, and was rather inclined 
to the latter belief. Mounting Rolf, and leaving that 
good steed to find his own way back to the camp, he 
pondered deeply over all the hart had told him, and 
resolved at least to try what he had suggested. 

When at last he came to the camp it was nearly 
deserted, as most of the party had gone to hunt for the 
King, but after much blowing of horns the company 
was collected, and, abandoning all further idea of sport, 
rode back to the capital. 

There they found eveything silent, except that the 



Ringfalla Bridge. 105 

bells were mournfully tolling, and the flag over the 
palace hanging half-mast high. " What is this ? Who 
is dead ? " asked the King, but no one seemed inclined 
to explain. 

At last the captain of the guard, who could not run 
away, was forced to salute and answer the King. 

" Sire," he said, " your Majesty's daughter, the Princess 
Solveig, was drowned yesterday in trying to cross 
Ringfalla Bridge." 

Greatly to the captain's surprise, however, the King 
inquired no further on the subject, but went straight 
up to the tower where the apartments of the three 
Princesses were situated. 

There he found the two youngest overwhelmed with 
grief for their sister's loss, but overjoyed to see him and 
give an account of the catastrophe. 

On the previous day, after seeing the King start at 
the head of a great cavalcade on his hunting expedition, 
the three Princesses cast about in their minds how they 
might amuse themselves, and finally agreed to go down 
and picnic by the river. Now, although the river itself 
was not absolutely forbidden, they were quite aware 
that the King disapproved of their going there, but they 
pacified their consciences by taking a strong escort, 
their old nurse, and a very large variety of hampers 
containing lunch. 

Poor old Nurse Gerda was as much averse to the ex- 
pedition as King Kaftan himself could have been, and told 
gruesome tales of the evil water spirit and his doings ; 
but the Princesses only laughed, and enjoyed preparing 
their own lunch, and eating it afterwards, extremely. 



106 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Then they wandered along the banks, gathering 
primroses and long grasses, all the while drawing near to 
the forbidden bridge ; but it looked so inviting with its 
stone parapet and curious wooden pavement, and the 
water flowed so peacefully beneath the arches, that they 
there and then made up their minds to cross it, and 
drew lots to decide which should venture first. The lot 
fell to Solveig, the eldest, and she set out boldly with 
six archers to guard her three before and three behind, 
walking abreast a last precaution insisted upon by 
Gerda, the nurse, who watched the proceeding in terror. 

All went well till they had almost reached the middle, 
then she tripped, and in falling touched the parapet, 
which instantly gave way, and the Princess fell into the 
river. As she touched the water a great pair of hairy 
arms caught and drew her under, so that she was seen 
no more. " And," continued Ulva, who up till now had 
done most of the talking, " the wall closed up again, with 
no sign of a break, directly she disappeared, and though 
two of the guard jumped in after her, the Neck took no 
notice of them, and they swam ashore in the end quite 
safely." 

" The bridge is enchanted," said the King gloomily ; 
and then he told them his adventure with the white 
hart. 

" Then," said Ulva, with great decision, " I will go : 
it is very simple. Solveig talked to Ulf, the archer, 
all the time, and was looking at the river when she 
stumbled. Now, I know what is required of me : I will 
look at my feet and say nothing, not a word. Do, 
father, let me go." And she gave the King no peace 



Ringfalla Bridge. 



107 



till he consented ; but she fared no better than her 
sister. 




'A GREAT PAIR OF HAIRY ARMS CAUGHT AND DREW 

HER UNDER" (p. 106). 

Boldly and silently she marched in the very centre 
of the fatal bridge, till suddenly she saw in front of her 
an enormous serpent with fiery eyes and forked tongue, 
with head up ready to spring. Poor Ulva's chief fear in 



io8 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

life was a snake. She recoiled in terror, calling to 
warn the archers, who had seen nothing. And then 
the flooring gave way beneath her, and she too sank 
into the flood, a great pair of hairy hands clutching 
her as she fell. 

Then there was great mourning throughout the land. 
The people clothed themselves in black, and the King 
reviled the hart and his own folly in acting on his advice, 
and refused to be comforted. 

Then little Kirsten, the youngest sister, and the fairest 
maiden in the land, put her white arms about his neck 
and told him to be of good cheer ; " for I will ride 
across," she said, " and if Freyja my mare stumble, it 
will be her fault, not mine, and I will neither speak nor 
scream, for they will tie a scarf over my lips so that I 
cannot. So, father, let me go, for it is I who will save 
the kingdom." 

But the King swore a great oath, and vowed she should 
not, and for three days nothing could move him. Then, 
the Princess prevailed, and the whole city came out to 
see her ride over Ringfalla Bridge. 

This time neither guards nor soldiers attempted to 
cross a dozen courtiers, richly apparelled and mounted, 
accompanied the youngest Princess, who, dressed in 
white and all her pet jewels, with diamond fireflies 
glistening in the golden hair that floated to her little 
shoes, and her small, red mouth bound fast with a silken 
scarf, rode gaily upon Freyja till she had crossed the 
middle of the bridge, when, once again, appeared a 
wonder on the verge of the forest a great white hart, 
with horns and hoofs of burnished gold. And straight- 



Ringfalla Bridge. 109 

way all the courtiers were tearing after it helter-skelter 
in hot haste, entirely forgetful of the poor little Princess 
and everything else. 




"THE YOUNGEST PRINCESS RODE GAILY UPON FREYJA" (p, 108) 

And Freyja that morning was very frisky ; she minced 
along sideways on her golden shoes, coquetting with 
her own shadow, and making little playful snaps at her 



no The Diamond Fairy Book. 

bridle. So she, too, stumbled at last on the treacherous 
planks, throwing her mistress over the parapet into the 
swiftly running stream ; but this time no demon hands 
were stretched out to receive their prey only a flash 
of white and gold ere the water closed over her head, 
and then all was still. 

Meantime the white hart was giving the truant 
courtiers a lively time of it ; he bounded, trotted, 
and doubled, keeping all the time close to the 
bridge, but eluding all their efforts to come near him. 
When, however, the maiden fell, a marvellous thing 
chanced the beautiful beast vanished, and in his place 
stood the handsomest knight that had ever been seen 
in that or any other land. His armour was of gold, 
curiously inlaid with silver ; on his helmet was a crown 
of emeralds, and his long purple mantle was lined with 
ermine, so there could be no doubt about his being a 
King. 

Then all the courtiers doffed their plumed caps, and 
did obeisance to him ; but the stranger, after acknow- 
ledging their homage, called aloud for " Asaph," and 
out of the wood, running as fast as he could, came a 
beautiful little page, clothed in green, and carrying a 
golden harp. 

Then the strange knight crossed the bridge and 
saluted King Kaftan, who was standing on the bank 
looking at the river like one dazed. 

"Be of good cheer, Sir King," he cried ;,"the Princess 
Kirsten has broken the charm, and I am no longer the 
white hart, but the rightful King of your troublesome 
Klavs me they obey and no other ; and now, thanks 




"And then little Kirsten came smiling out of the water.' 



Ringfalla Bridge. in 



for your courtesy." So saying, he took the harp from 
his little foot-page, and, seating himself on the bank, 
began to play. 

Very softly at first, but so wondrous were the 
magic notes that all the assembled people listened 
silent and motionless, for never before had they 
heard the like. First the sound was like the dis- 
tant echo of silver trumpets when they welcomed the 
host back from battle; and then coming, as it were, 
nearer, like the ripple of waves on a pebbly beach, 
and all the fishes swam up to listen, while out of the 
wood flocked bird and beast also. So wondrous was 
the strain. 

And then little Kirsten came smiling out of the 
waxer and sat upon the harper's knee, and one arm he 
put about her to hold her fast, but still he kept on 
playing. And now the music waxed fierce and terrible, 
like the roll of thunder among the mountains, or the 
crash of armies when they meet in battle. And the 
waves grew black and angry and lashed themselves 
into foam, for the Neck, the evil water spirit, was furious, 
but he could not fight against his master, and so at the 
last he also came forth, black and hideous, but subdued, 
leading the two Princesses Solveig and Ulva, who 
looked more beautiful than ever, and none the worse 
for their sojourn below the river. 

So there were great rejoicings in both kingdoms, for 
the youngest Princess had broken the spell laid on Sir 
Sigurd by the Neck, who caught him in the forest alone 
without his harp, and condemned him to wander as a 
white hart until, a Royal Princess should of her own 



ii2 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

free will cross Ringfalla Bridge without stumbling and 
without talking. 

This little Kirsten did, and she had her reward, for 
she married Sigurd and reigned over the Klavs, who 
were turbulent no more, because their King and Queen 
had been born for the special purpose of ruling over 
them. 



The Children's Fairy. 




IT was a dull, heavy afternoon, and the long, dusty 
road looked quite deserted, not a horse or even 
a foot-passenger in sight. The birds were taking 
their afternoon siesta, and the leaves were hanging down 
languidly from the poor trees, which were dying with 
thirst. There were three solitary-looking, tumble-down 
cottages on one side of the road, and presently the door 
of one of them opened, and a woman's voice called out : 
" Come, Yvette, come, go out and play." 
In answer to this summons a little girl of some three 
or four years old soon appeared, and with great difficulty 
on all fours began to descend the steep steps from the 
house to the footpath. It was quite a piece of work, 
that perilous descent, and it was accomplished slowly, 
carefully, and very awkwardly by what looked like 
nothing but a bundle of clothes. 

The child had on a little bonnet made of two pieces 
of figured muslin sewn together, and from which a few 



1 1 6 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

tresses of fair hair which had escaped fell over her 
forehead and down the back of her neck. Her little 
frock had been lengthened many times, and, consequently, 
the waist was now up under the arms, like one sees in 
the Empire dresses. As to shoes and stockings well, 
it was not very cold, and so they were put away for a 
future occasion. 

When once she had reached the bottom of the steps, 
the child stood upright and looked round for a minute 
or two, evidently deep in thought, with her little finger 
pressed against her face. Play ! Yes, it was all very 
well, but what should she play at? 

At the very time when the poor little mite was turning 
this question over in her mind, hundreds of other children, 
accompanied by their mother or by their nurse, would 
be all out in the gardens or parks, and they would have 
with them all kinds of games and toys, from the favourite 
spade and bucket to a real little steam-boat, which would 
sail along on the ponds. They would have cannons, 
skipping-ropes, reins (all covered with little bells), hoops, 
batt'edores and shuttlecocks, bowls, marbles, balls, bal- 
loons, dolls of every description, pistols, guns, swords, 
and, in fact, everything that the heart of a child can 
desire. 

Then, too, those other children nearly always had little 
playmates, so that it was easy enough to organise a 
game 

But, Yvette on that deserted road, what could she 
do? Her father, a poor road-mender, earned only just 
enough to make a bare living for his wife and child, 
and certainly not a halfpenny could be spared for toys. 



The Children's Fairy. 117 

Yvette sat down just near a great heap of stones, 
which her father had to break into small pieces in 
order to fill in the ruts. When she was comfortably 
installed, she" began to fumble in her pocket, and there 




"DEEP IN THOUGHT'' (p. 116). 

she certainly found all kinds of wonderful things: two 
cherry-stones, a piece of string, a small carrot, a shoe- 
button, a small penny knife, a little bit of blue braid 
and some crumbs of bread. Now, these were all very 
nice in their way, and were indeed very valuable articles, 
but somehow they did not appeal to Yvette at all just 



n8 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

then. She put them all very carefully back one by 
one in her pocket. 

Then there was a profound silence. Yvette was not 
happy. The little face puckered itself up into a significant 
grimace the little nose was all screwed up, and the 
mouth was just opening tears were surely on the 
way! Just at that moment, fortunately, the Children's 
Fairy was passing by. 

Now you, perhaps, do not know about this Fairy, 
for no one ever sees her, but it is the very one which 
makes children smile in their dreams, and gives them 
all kinds of pretty thoughts. There is no limit to the 
power of this Fairy, for, with a stroke of her magic 
wand, she can transform things just as she wishes. She 
is very good and kind-hearted, and the proof is that she 
bestows her favours more generally on the poor and 
unfortunate than on others. 

Well, this good Fairy saw that Yvette was just going 
to cry. She stretched her golden wand out over the 
heap of stones and then flew away again, laughing, for 
she was. just as light and as gay as a ray of sunshine. 

Now, directly the Fairy had gone, it seemed to the 
road-mender's little daughter that one of the big stones 
near her had a face, and that it was dressed just like a 
little baby. Oh, it was really just like a little baby ! 
Yvette stretched out her hand, took the stone up, and 
immediately began to feel for it all the love which a 
mother feels for her child. 

" Ah ! " she said to it, cuddling it up in her arms ; 
"do you want to be my little girl? You don't speak 
oh ! but that is because you are too young but I see 



The Children's Fairy. 119 

you would like to. Very well, then; I will be your 
mother, and I shall love you and never whip you. You 




M SHE STRETCHED HER GOLDEN WAND OVER THE HEAP OF 

STONES" (p. 118). 

must be good, though, and then I shall never scold 
you. Oh! but if you are not good you know, I've 



I2O The Diamond Fairy Book. 

got a birch rod. Now, come, I'm going to dress you 
better: you look dreadful in that frock." Hereupon 
Yvette rolled her child up in her pinafore, so that there 
was nothing to be seen of the stone but what was 
supposed to be the baby's head. 

" Oh ! how pretty she is, dear little thing. There, 
now, she shall have something to eat. Ah! you are 
crying but you must not cry, my pretty one there, 
there." And the hard stone was rocked gently in the 
soft little arms of its fond mother. 

"Bye-bye, baby bye-bye-bye." Yvette sang with all 
her might, tapping her little daughter's back energetically, 
but evidently all to no purpose, for the stone refused 
to go to sleep. "Ah! naughty girl; you won't go to 
sleep? Oh no, I won't tell you any more stories. I 
have told you Tom Thumb, and that's quite enough for 
to-night. Go to sleep quick quick, I say. Oh, dear, 
dear, naughty child I've got a knife what ! you are 
crying again ! If you only knew how ugly you are 
when you cry ! There ! now I'm going to slap you 
take that, and that, and that, to make you quiet. Oh 
dear, how dreadful it is to have such a child. I believe 
I'll change you, and have a boy. Now, just say you 

are sorry for being so naughty What ! you won't ? 

I'll give you another chance. Now one two three. 
Oh, very well. I know what I shall do. I shall just 
go and take you back. I shall say: 'If you please, I've 
got a dreadful little girl, and I want to change her for 
a nice little boy, named Eugene.' And then they'll say : 
' Yes, ma'am ; will you have him with light hair or 
dark?' 'Oh/ I shall say, 'I don't mind, as long as 



The Children's Fairy. 



he is good.' ' He'll be very dear, though, ma'am,' they'll 
say ; ' good little boys are very rare, and they cost a 
great deal.' ' How much ? ' I shall ask. ' Why, one 

penny, ma'am.' And then I shall think about it 

Now, then, are you going to be good, and say you are 
sorry? No? Oh! very well it's too late now I've 







"OHl HOW PRETTY SHE IS " (/>. 12O). 

changed you. I have no little girl now, but a very 
pretty little boy, named Zizi." 

The stone immediately underwent a complete trans- 
formation. Just now, when it was a little girl, it had 
been very quiet and gentle, and had kept quite still on 
Yvette's lap. Now that it was a boy there was no 
more peace : it would jump about, and it would try to 
get away, for boys are always so restless. 

" Zizi, will you be still, and will you stay on my lap 



122 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

instead of tumbling about in the road? There, let me 
lift you up ! Oh, dear ! how heavy boys are. There, 
now, don't you stir, but just eat your bread and milk. 
It will make you grow, and then when you are big 
you'll have beautiful grey whiskers, like father. You 
shall have a sword, too, and perhaps you shall be a 
policeman. It's very nice to be a policeman, you know, 
because they are never put in prison they take other 
people there if the people make a noise in the street. 
Oh, Zizi, do keep still. If you don't, I'll call the wolf 
you know, the big wolf that runs off with little 
children and takes them into the woods to eat them 
up. Wolf, wolf, where are you ? " 

Just at that moment a dog appeared a large, well-fed, 
happy-looking dog, impudent too, and full of fun. He 
belonged 4:o a carrier who was always moving about 
from place to place, and the dog, accustomed as he 
was to these constant journeys, had got rather familiar, 
like certain commercial travellers, who, no matter where 
they are, always make themselves quite at home. 

Now, the dog had got tired of following his master's 
cart, and when he saw something in the distance which 
was moving about, he bounded off to discover what it 
was. This something was Yvette and her little boy. 

" Look, look ! " exclaimed the small mother, and there 
was a tremor in her voice. "You see, he is coming 
the big wolf!" 

He was coming, there was no doubt about that, for 
he was tearing along, and his tongue was hanging out 
and his ears were pricked up. 

The little stone boy was not at all frightened, but 



The Children's Fairy. 123 

Yvette began to regret having called the dreadful animal. 
Oh ! if she could only get away now ; but, alas ! she 
did not dare to move or even to speak. 

The impertinent dog came straight to them. Poor 
Yvette, half frightened to death, threw away the precious 




"THE IMPERTINENT DOG CAME STRAIGHT TO THEM" (p. 123). 

stone baby she had been fondling, and, picking herself 
up, began to run, calling out : " Mother ! Mother ! " 

The dog was quite near her, jumping up at her, and 
ihen suddenly he turned to go and sniff at the little 
stone boy. He probably thought it was a bone or a 
piece of bread, but he was soon undeceived, and then 



124 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

he rushed to the hedge to bark and wake up all the 
birds. 

As to Yvette, she was hurrying along as fast as her 
little legs could carry her, for she was in despair, as she 
thought the wolf was just behind her, and she imagined 
that she still felt his hot breath on her little hand. She 
stopped when she got to the steps of her home, for she 
was out of breath and all trembling with terror, and 
she felt sure that if she tried to scramble up the steps 
the wolf would bite her legs. Suddenly the inspiration, 
which the ostrich once had, came to her, and she rushed 
into the corner which was formed by the front of the 
house and the stone steps, and holding her face close 
to the wall, so that she could not see the dreadful animal, 
she was convinced that she too was out of his sight. 

She stayed there some minutes in perfect anguish, 
thinking : " Oh ! if I move, he'll eat me up ! " She was 
quite surprised even that he did not find her, and that 
his great teeth did not bite her, for she always thought 
wolves were so quick to eat up little girls. Whatever 
could he be doing? And then, not hearing any sound 
of him, she thought she would risk one peep round. 
Very slowly she turned her head, and then, as nothing 
dreadful happened, she grew bolder and bolder. 

The wolf was not in sight, and instead of the barking ' 
which had terrified het, she now heard a lot of little 
bells tinkling, and in the distance she saw a waggon 
with four horses coming along. 

The sound of the bells was so fascinating that Yvette 
forgot her duty as a mother, and stood there watching 
the waggon as it approached. 



The Children's Fairy. 125 

The horses were all grey, and they were coming so 
fast. Suddenly the child uttered an awe-struck cry. 

Her child, her little son, was under the heavy wheels ! 
Crunch ! crunch ! and it had gone by, the horrible waggon. 
Yvette went on to the horse-road, and her little heart 




"HER CHILD, HER LITTLE SON, WAS UNDER THE HEAVY WHEELS!" 

was very full ; for there, where poor Zizi had been lying, 
there was only some yellowish crunched stone. Zizi 
had been ground into powder by the huge wheels. The 
poor child was in despair, and, with tears in her eyes, 
she shook her little fists at the carrier, who was whipping 
up his horses. 

" Cruel, wicked man 1 " she cried, and then her eyes 



126 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

happening to fall on the heap of stones which had 
supplied her with a family, she saw another stone smiling 
at her now. She ran quickly to it, picked it up and 
kissed it affectionately, and then, happy in her new 
treasure, she cried out defiantly to the carrier, whom 
she could still see in the distance: "Ah! I don't care! 
I've got another there, then! and it's a girl this time. 
I won't have any more dreadful boys to be afraid of 
wolves, and to go and get themselves killed just to 
make their poor mother unhappy." 

Oh ! kind, good Fairy, you who watch over the 
children, and who give them their happiness and console 
them in sorrow when they are playing at life oh, good 
Fairy, do not forget your big children. 

Older men tell me that I am young, but the younger 
ones do not think so ; and I, myself, saw, only this 
morning, a silver thread in my hairs. Oh, kind Fairy, 
Fairy of the children, help me, too, to believe that the 
moon is made of green cheese ; for, after all, our hap- 
piness here below consists in our faith and in our 
illusions. 



" Wittysplinter.' 




WITTY- 
SPLINTER 



from tbe German 
of Clemens JBrentano. 



ONCE upon a time there was a King of Round- 
about who had, among many other servants, a 
page-boy who was called Wittysplinter, and 
he preferred him above all the others, and showered upon 
him honours and presents, because of his uncommon skill 
and cleverness, and because everything the King gave 
him to do he always accomplished successfully. Now, 
because of the great favour which the King showed to 
Wittysplinter, all the other page-boys and servants were 
jealous of him ; for, if his cleverness were rewarded 
with money, they generally received nothing but scold- 
ings for their stupidity ; if Wittysplinter received praise 
from the King, they generally received a blowing-up ; 
when Wittysplinter got a new coat to his back, they 
got instead the application of a stick to theirs; and if 
Wittysplinter were permitted to kiss the King's hand, 

9 



130 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

they were only allowed to touch it when they got a 
smack from it 

On account of all these things, therefore, they got 
very angry with Wittysplinter, and went about murmuring 
and whispering the whole day long, and putting their 
heads together and plotting how best they could deprive 
Wittysplinter of the love of the King. One of them 
scattered a lot of peas on the steps up to the throne, so 
that Wittysplinter might stumble and break the glass 
sceptre which he always had to present to the King ; 
another nailed pieces of melon skin to his shoes, so that 
he might slide along and make a dreadful mess of the 
King's gown when he was handing him the soup ; a 
third put all sorts of horrid flies in a straw, and blew 
them into the King's wig when Wittysplinter was dressing 
it ; a fourth played some other nasty trick, and every one 
sought to do something to deprive Wittysplinter of the 
King's favour. Wittysplinter was so cautious, however, 
and so clever and watchful, that everything they did was 
in vain, and he brought all the commands of the King 
to a successful issue. 

Well, when they found that all these manoeuvres were 
quite useless, they determined to try something else. Now, 
the King had an enemy, whom he could never get the 
better of, and who was always doing him some mischief. 
This was a giant who was called Sleepyhead, and who 
lived in a large mountain, where he had a splendid palace 
surrounded by a thick, gloomy wood ; and with the 
exception of his wife, Thickasmud, no human being lived 
with him ; but a lion who was called Hendread, and a bear 
called Honeybeard, and a wolf called Lambsnapper, and 



Witty splinter. 131 

a dog called Harescare, acted as his servants. He had 
also in the stables a horse called Flyinglegs. 

Now, there dwelt in the neighbourhood of Roundabout 
a very beautiful Queen, Madam Flosk, who had a daughter, 
Miss Flink, and the King of Roundabout, who wanted to 
possess all the land adjoining his own, was very anxious 
to marry Madam Flosk. But she was proud, and let him 
know that many other Kings were also anxious to marry 
her, and that she would accept in marriage that King only 
who was most expeditious, and that he who was first by 
her side when she went into church next Monday morning 
at half-past ten should have her as his wife, and all her 
possessions into the bargain. 

Thereupon the King summoned all his household, and 
put the question to them : " How am I to manage to be 
first in the church on Monday morning next, and so gain 
Queen Flosk for my wife ? " 

Then his servants answered him, and said : " You must 
gain possession of the horse Flyinglegs, belonging to the 
giant Sleepyhead ; if you once get astride of it, no one can 
possibly get there before you ; and to get this horse for 
you no one is more suited than Wittysplinter, who is so 
successful in all he undertakes." 

Thus spoke the wicked servants, in the hope that the 
Giant Sleepyhead would kill Wittysplinter. The King, 
accordingly, commanded Wittysplinter to bring the horse 
Flyinglegs to him. 

Wittysplinter got a hand-barrow, and placed a bees 
hive on it, then a sack into which he thrust a cock, a hare, 
and a lamb, and laid it on the barrow ; he took with him, 
also, a long piece of rope, and a large box full of snuff ; 



132 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

slung round him a riding whip, fastened a pair of good 
spurs to his boots, and quietly set off, pushing his barrow 
in front of him. 

Towards evening he had reached the summit of the 
high mountain, and when he had traversed the wood he 
saw before him the castle of the giant Sleepyhead. Night 
drew on, and very soon he heard the giant Sleepyhead 
and his wife, Thickasmud, and his lion, Hendread, and his 
bear, Honeybeard, and his wolf, Lambsnapper, and his 
dog, Harescare, all snoring loudly ; only the horse, Flying- 
legs, was still awake, and stamping the floor of the stable 
with its hoofs. 

Then Wittysplinter took the long piece of rope very 
quietly from the sack, and stretched it across in front of 
the door of the castle from one tree to another, and placed 
the box of snuff in the middle ; next he took the beehive 
and placed it in a tree by the side of the path, and then 
went into the stable and undid the fastenings of Flyinglegs. 
He placed the sack with the lamb, the hare, and the cock 
on its back, and jumping up himself and using his spurs, 
he rode out of the stable. 

But the horse Flyinglegs could speak, and screamed out 
quite loudly : 

" Thickasmud and Sleepyhead ! 
Honeybeard and Hendread ! 
Lambsnapper and Harescare ! 
I'm being stolen, so pray beware ! " 

and then it galloped off as hard as it could, because, with 
Wittysplinter on its back, it couldn't help itself. Then 
Thickasmud and Sleepyhead woke up and heard the cry 
of the horse Flyinglegs. Quickly they awakened the bear 



Wittysplinter. 



Honeybeard, the lion Hendread, the wolf Lambsnapper, 
and the dog Harescare, and all together they rushed pell- 




"THEY RUSHED PELL-MELL OUT OF THE HOUSE.* 

mell out of the house, to try and catch Wittysplinter with 
the horse Flyinglegs. 



134 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

But in the darkness the giant Sleepyhead and his wife 
Thickasmud stumbled over the rope which Wittysplinter 
had tied in front of the castle door, and, splosh ! they fell 
with their eyes and noses right into the box of snuff which 
he had placed there. They rubbed their eyes and sneezed 
one time after another, and Sleepyhead said : " Your good 
health,* Thickasmud." " I thank you," answered Thick- 
asmud, and then said : " Good health to you, Sleepyhead." 
" I thank you," answered he ; and so on, until they had 
wept the snuff out of their eyes and sneezed it out of their 
noses, and by the time this had happened Wittysplinter 
was clear of the wood. 

The bear Honeybeard was the first after him, but when 
he came to the bees' hive the smell of the honey enticed 
him, and he wanted to eat it ; then the bees came buzzing 
out, and stung him all over the face to such an extent 
that he ran back half blind to the castle. Wittysplinter 
had already got some distance out of the wood when he 
heard the lion Hendread coming bounding after him, so 
he quickly took the cock out of his sack, and when it flew 
up into a tree and began to crow, the lion got so dreadfully 
frightened that it ran back again. 

Now Wittysplinter heard the wolf Lambsnapper behind 
him. He quickly let loose the lamb out of his sack, and 
the wolf galloped after it, and let him ride off in safety. 
He was by this time quite near the town when he heard a 

* The custom of wishing one " Good Health " after a sneeze, 
prevalent in Germany and other European countries, is supposed to 
have origin in the fact that the crisis, or turning-point for better or 
worse of a certain fever, is indicated by a sneeze from the patient, 
and hence the natural expression of a hope for a favourable 
recovery. 



Wittysplinter. 135 

bark behind him, and looking round, saw the dog Hare- 
scare coming tearing after him. Quickly he let loose the 
hare out of the sack, and the dog ran after it, and he 
arrived safely in the town. 

The King thanked Wittysplinter very much for the 
norse, but the wicked servants of the Court were very 
much annoyed that he had come off with a whole skin. 
On the following Monday the King mounted upon his 
horse Flyinglcgs and rode off to Queen Flosk, and the 
horse galloped so quickly that he was there long before 
any of the other Kings, and had already danced several 
of his wedding dances when they arrived. Just when 
he was about to start off home with his Queen, his 
servants said to him : " Your Majesty has indeed the 
giant Sleepyhead's horse, but how much more splendid 
it would be if you had his clothes as well, which are 
said to surpass anything that man has ever seen. The 
clever Wittysplinter would, no doubt, very soon bring 
them to you if you commanded him to do so." 

The King was at once possessed with a great desire 
for Sleepyhead's clothes, and again gave the commission 
to Wittysplinter. When the latter had started off upon 
the road the wicked servants rejoiced, and thought that 
this time he would surely not escape the clutches of the 
giant Sleepyhead. 

On this occasion Wittysplinter took nothing with him 
but a few good strong sacks. On arriving at the giant's 
castle he climbed up into a tree, and lay hid until every 
one was in bed. When everything had become quiet 
he climbed down again. Just then he heard Madam 
Thickasmud calling out : " Sleepyhead, my pillow is very 



136 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

low ; fetch me a bundle of straw from outside." There- 
upon Wittysplinter quickly slipped into a bundle of 
straw, and Sleepyhead carried him, along with the straw, 
into his room, shoved him under the pillow, and then 
lay down in bed again. 

As soon as they had fallen asleep Wittysplinter packed 
all Sleepyhead's and Thickasmud's clothes into his sack, 
and very quietly and very carefully tied it to the tail 
of the lion Hendread ; then he tied the wolf Lambsnapper, 
and the bear Honeybeard, and the dog Harescare, who 
were lying about asleep, fast to the giant's bed, and 
opened the door very wide. So far he had managed 
everything just as he would have wished, but he wanted 
to take away the giant's beautiful bed-cover as well. 
So he gave the corner of it a slight tug, then another, 
and another, and so on, until it fell on the floor. He 
immediately wrapped himself up in it, and seated himself 
on the sack containing the giant's clothes, which he had 
tied to the lion's tail. Soon the cool night wind began 
to blow through the open door and over Thickasmud's 
legs, and waking up, she cried, " Sleepyhead, you've 
pulled all the bed-clothes off me. I've nothing at all 
over me." " Thickasmud, you've pulled all the clothes 
off me" and thereupon they began to belabour each 
other, so that Wittysplinter began to laugh loudly at 
them. As soon as they heard this they called out 
" Thieves, thieves ! Up, Hendread ! Up, Lambsnapper ! 
Up, Honeybeard and Harescare 1 Thieves, thieves ! " At 
this all the animals woke up, and the lion sprang forth 
out of the door. Now Wittysplinter, wrapped up in the 
bed-cover, was sitting on the bundle of clothes tied to 



Wittysplinter. 



137 



the lion's tail; and as soon as the lion began to run, 
he was driven along just as if he was in a carriage. 




" HE COULDN'T STOP HIMSELF " (p. 138). 

He began to cry out several times " kikriki-ki-kri-ki, 1 
just like a cock, and the lion got such a fright at this 
that he ran in mad terror right up to the gates of the 



138 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

city. When quite near to the gates, Wittysplinter took 
out his knife and cut the string, and the lion, who was 
going at such a rate that he couldn't stop himself, ran 
his head full bang against the gates and fell down 
dead. 

The other animals, who had been bound to the bed- 
stead of Sleepyhead and Thickasmud, could not get it 
out of the door because it was too wide, and they dragged 
it and pulled it about the room so much that both 
Sleepyhead and Thickasmud fell out, and became so 
angry that they beat the wolf, the bear, and the dog to 
death, although the poor animals really couldn't help it. 

When the watch in the city heard the noise of the 
great blow which the lion had given to the gates, they 
opened them, and Wittysplinter carried the clothes of 
Sleepyhead and Thickasmud in triumph to the King, who 
nearly jumped out of his skin with joy, for such clothes had 
never before been seen. There was, among other things, 
a hunting-coat, made of the skins of all the four-footed 
animals, and so beautifully sewn together that one could 
see the whole story of Reynard the Fox depicted on 
it. Also a bird-catcher's coat, made of feathers from all 
the birds in the world, an eagle in front and an owl 
behind ; and in the pockets there were a musical box 
and a peal of bells, which made music just like all kinds 
of birds singing together. Further, there was a bathing- 
dress and a fisher's-dress, made from the skins of all 
the fish in the world, sewn together so that one saw a 
whale-hunt and a great catch of herrings on it. Then 
a garden-dress of Madam Thickasmud's, on which all 
sorts of flowers and fruits, salads and vegetables, were 



Wittysplinter. 139 

embroidered. But what surpassed everything else was 
the bed-cover ; it was made entirely of the skins of bats, 
and all the stars of heaven were represented on it by 
means of diamonds. 

The Royal family were quite dumb with astonishment 
and wonder. Wittysplinter was kissed and embraced, 
and his enemies nearly exploded with rage to see that 
he had again escaped without hurt from the hands of 
Sleepyhead. 

Even yet they did not despair, and put the idea into 
the King's head that nothing was now wanting to his 
dignity but that he should possess the castle of Sleepy- 
head itself, and the King, who was a very child in these 
matters and always wanted to have whatever took his 
fancy, said immediately to Wittysplinter that he wanted 
Sleepyhead's castle, and that as soon as he got it for him 
he would be rewarded. 

Wittysplinter did not take much time to think about 
it, and for the third time ran off to the abode of Sleepy- 
head. When he arrived there, the giant was not at 
home, and he heard something in the room crying like 
a calf. Then he looked through the window, and saw 
Dame Thickasmud chopping wood, and at the same 
time nursing a little giant on her arm, who was showing 
his teeth and bleating like a calf. 

" Wittysplinter went in, and said : " Good-day, my 
great and beautiful, broad and portly dame ! How is 
it that you have got to do so much work and have to 
nurse your child at the same time? Have you no 
maids or grooms ? Where is your husband, then ? " 

" Ach," said Madam Thickasmud, " my husband has 



140 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

gone out to invite all his relations to a feast we are 
going to hold. And I have to cook everything for myself 
now, for my husband killed the bear, and the wolf, and 
the dog, that used to help us ; and the lion has run 
off, too." 

" That is certainly very hard lines on you," said 
VVittysplinter. " If I could do anything to help you, 
I should be only too glad." 

Then Thickasmud asked him to chop up four logs 
of wood into small pieces for her ; and Wittysplinter 
took the axe and said to the giantess : " You might hold 
the wood for me a moment, please," and the giantess 
bent down and caught hold of the wood. Wittysplinter 
raised the axe in the air, and swish ! down it came, 
and cut Thickasmud's head off and Mollakopp's at the 
same time, and there they lay. 

The next thing he proceeded to do was to dig a large, 
deep hole right in front of the castle door, into which 
he threw Thickasmud and Mollakopp, and then covered 
over the opening with a thin layer of branches and 
leaves. Then he proceeded to light up all the rooms of 
the castle with candles and torches, and took a large 
copper kettle, and beat upon it with soup ladles. Then 
he got a tin funnel, and blew a blast on it just like 
a trumpet, and between each performance he shouted, 
" Hurrah ! Long live His Majesty the King of Round- 
about." 

When Sleepyhead was returning home towards evening, 
and saw all the lights in the windows and heard the 
shouting, he was mad with rage, and ran with such 
fury against the door that he fell through the hole covered 



Wittysplinter. 



141 



with branches and lay there a prisoner, shouting and 
making a great noise. Wittysplinter immediately ran 
down and threw large stones on him, until he had filled 
up the hole. 



-^ 




" WITTYSPLINTER THREW LARGE STONES ON HIM. 

And now Wittysplinter took the key of the castle 
and ran with it to King Roundabout, who immediately 
betook himself to the castle, along with his wife Flosk 
and her daughter Flink and Wittysplinter, and inspected 
all there was to be seen there. After they had spent 
fourteen whole days in looking at an immense number 



142 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

of rooms, chambers, cellars, look-out towers, bakeries, 
furnaces, kitchens, wood-stove houses, dining-rooms, 
smoking-rooms, wash-houses, etc., the King asked Witty- 
splinter what he would like as a reward for his faithful 
services. And Wittysplinter replied that he would like 
to marry the Princess Flink, if it were agreeable to her. 
The Princess very readily consented, and they were 
married and lived in the giant's castle, where they are 
to be found to this day. 



The Mid-day Rock. 



MID -DAY 

ROCK. 




ONCE upon a time there was a poor man, who 
lived somewhere in the middle of the woods near 
a place called Gatines de Treigny. Everybody 
called him Father Rameau. Not that he had any children 
he had not even ever been married ; nor that he was 
very old, for he was barely fifty ; but he had always had 
such a hard time of it that his hair had grown grey very 
early, and his back had been bent and bowed long before 
its time. 

He was generally to be seen toiling along under a 
big bundle of brooms, which he made with the greatest 
skill from young birch branches, selling them on market 
days to the housewives of Saint-Amand or Saint-Sauveur. 

Father Rameau was not ambitious, far from it ; if he 
had been alone in the world, without relations depending 
on him, he would have been quite content to live on 
black bread every day of the week, with an occasional 
glass of wine from the charitable folk of the neighbourhood. 
But Father Rameau had a younger sister married to a 
vine-dresser of Perreuse, and he was god-father to their 

'+5 IO 



146 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

daughter ; she was just growing up into a woman, and 
was so pretty and modest and intelligent, that every 
one had a good word for her, and now she was engaged 
to be married to a young man called George, a capital 
worker, but without a penny in the world. The wedding 
was to take place as soon as she was twenty ; and they 
had given each other engagement rings common leaden 
rings, bought from one of the pedlars who visit the hamlets 
of the district 

Humble as he was where he himself only was con- 
cerned, Father Rameau was proud indeed in matters 
connected with his niece. 

" A leaden ring," he murmured, " when so many other 
girls, not half as good as my god-daughter, have a gold 
one 1 How I wish Madeleine could choose the one she 
liked best from the jeweller's shop in Saint-Sauveur ! 
Ah, it's not much use wishing. If I put by every penny 
I could spare for years and years I could never afford it 
Madeleine's poor, George is poor, I am poor, and always 
shall be. Well, we're honest, that's one comfort, and 
we needn't be jealous, at any rate." 

As the old broomseller was thinking all this, he met 
George, who was driving a pair of oxen, their nostrils 
steaming in the first rays of the morning sun. " Good-day, 
lad," said he. 

" Good -day, Father Rameau." 

" Off to work already ? " 

"Yes, father. I'm just going over the master's fields 
for the last time before seed sowing ; we shall begin next 
week. We're rather behind hand you know." 

" So you are ; October's nearly over." 



The Mid-day Rock. 147 

" Can you guess what I was thinking of as I came 
along ? " 

" What you were thinking of?" You mean who" said 
Father Rameau, rather crossly. 

" Well, yes, you're right. Madeleine is never out of 
my mind," answered George thoughtfully. " I was saying 
to myself that, if there are plenty of weeds over there ' 
(and he pointed to the uncultivated moor with his goad), 
" there is good soil as well, and that any one who had 
time to clear even a corner of it might buy the girl he 
was engaged to " 

" A gold ring ! " 

" How did you guess what I meant ? You don't come 
from Che'neau, where all the wizards live," laughed George. 

" No witchcraft in that, nephew. The other day I saw 
how unhappy you were that you could only give Madeleine 
a leaden ring, and I was just as sorry myself that I 
couldn't buy her a better one . . . and ever since I've 
been trying to think of a way . . ." 

" And have you found one, father ? " 

" You've found it for me, lad. I shall make a clearing 
of a bit of the moor." 

Even at the risk of offending his future uncle, the 
young labourer could not help smiling. 

"That's a task for stronger arms than yours, father," 
he said. " No one can beat you at cutting birch branches 
and making them into brooms. But that doesn't need 
so much muscle as digging up soil like this, pulling up 
the great roots out of it, or smashing and carrying away 
huge boulders of rock. Ah, if only I had not given my 
word to stay with my master till I am married 1 " 



148 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

" You may laugh at me, lad, but I won't bear malice," 
said the old man. "If the old are not so strong as 
the young, they are more persevering. I shall clear a 
bit of the moor, and with the money from my first harvest 
we will go and buy the ring. Good-bye, lad." 

" Good-bye, father ; we shall see you doing wonders 
before long, I know." 

" I shall be working for Madeleine," he said, " and your 
patron saint (George means cultivator of the soil) will 
help me." 

At twelve precisely, Father Rameau came back to the 
moor with a heavy pick on his shoulder ; he meant to set 
to work without delay. 

Bang went the first stroke of the pick, accompanied 
with the significant grunt diggers, woodmen, and such folk 
give over their work. But just as he was raising his arm 
for another try, he stood suddenly stock-still, with eyes 
staring wide in a white, terrified face. 

From the midst of the boulders scattered about, which 
were trembling like Celtic monuments, had arisen an 
apparition, which the old man knew was supernatural 
and divine, though its form was human. 

Imagine a tiny little lady, ethereal rather than thin, 
youthfully lovely and dainty, a kind of dream beauty, 
attired in a silvery tunic embroidered with gorse blossoms. 
On her head a wreath of heather ; in her hand a wand 
of the broom plant in blossom ; all around the holly, ferns, 
and junipers, all the wild plants and shrubs, were bowing 
down as if in homage to a Sovereign. A ray of sunlight 
was playing round her head like an aureole. She was 
the Fairy of the Moor. 



The Mid-day Rock. 149 

" You are a bold man," she said to the old workman, 
" to dare thus to encroach on my domains." There was 
a thrill of anger in her clear voice, and her blue eyes 
sparkled. 

" Lady Fairy," stammered the old man, " be merciful 
to a wretched labourer who never meant to wrong you. 




" HE STOOD SUDDENLY STOCK-STILL " (p. 148). 

Your domains are so vast, I hoped there would be no 
harm if I took the liberty of borrowing just a little corner 
from you." 

" What do you want it for ? " 

" To cultivate it," answered old Rameau, who was 
beginning to feel less frightened. 

" To cultivate it ! " cried the fairy. " You mean to dig 



150 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

it up, turn it over, and upset it all round ! Do you 
not see how lovely it is now, and are you so presumptuous 
as to think you can do better for it than Nature has 
done already ? " Her voice grew softer as she went on : 
" What could you find anywhere that is as beautiful 
as this spot in spring-time, when, under a sky of the 
tenderest blue, the little leaves are beginning to bud on 
the branches, the tufts of narcissus are opening among 
the marshes, and everywhere in the woods around the 
blackbirds are beginning to whistle their first notes, the 
doves keep up a gentle cooing, and the jays are chattering 
like parrots?" 

" A couple of partridges calling to each other," answered 
the old man, "a quail uttering its three sonorous 
cries, or a lark soaring into the sky with its breath- 
less melody, make a pleasanter sound, to my way of 
thinking. But these are birds that like to build their 
nests among the corn. They are not found near your 
kingdom." 

" In summer," went on the fairy, " when the moors 
are flooded with sunshine, and the heat brings out a 
delicious odour of resin from my favourite shrubs, I love 
to look on the purple of the heather, and the gold of gorse 
and broom." 

" I prefer the pink clover with the drowsy bees humming 
over it," answered the old man, " and the ripening harvest, 
yellow like your beautiful hair, Lady Fairy." 

Fairy as she was, the queen of the moors was not 
displeased at the compliment Father Rameau saw this 
from her face, and said to himself his cause was half 
woa 



The Mid-day Rock. 151 

" In autumn," she retorted, though, " even here, there 
comes to me, out of the depths of the thickets near, 
the baying of the pack when the hunt is out, and often 
they traverse my domains to get from one part of the 
forest to another. The poor, hunted stag, whose tongue 
is hanging out of his mouth with weariness, makes for 
this very heap of rocks sometimes; then I help him to 
elude his cruel foes and to get away safely." 

" Yes," said the old man, as if he liked this idea, " the 
dogs get their noses pricked on the thorn-bushes and 
lose trace of their prey. That is indeed a kind action. 
I, too, like to put the pack on a wrong scent. The stags 
are such dear things, with their soft brown eyes. Those 
in this neighbourhood know me, and when I sit down 
to make my brooms right in the middle of a copse, 
as I do sometimes, they come quite close up to me. If 
only there were wheat growing on your moor, you would 
be able to protect the hares, too, for they would then take 
refuge in the shelter of your park." 

" But when you have pulled up my holly and junipers 
and broom-bushes, how shall I be able to make fires for 
the long winter evenings ? I shall die, pierced by the cruel 
breath of the keen north wind, and be buried under a 
shroud of white snow." 

" Oh, gracious fay, if you fear the cold, will there not 
always be the place of honour kept for you by our 
chimney-corner, in the little home I mean to build on 
the moor? You will come and get warm whenever you 
like by our fireside. My god-daughter, Madeleine, will 
keep you company, and some day, perhaps, I shall entreat 
you to be god-mother to her first baby." 



152 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Thus Father Rameau had his answer ready for all her 
objections. These last words of his touched the fairy, 
and the expression of her face became very soft and kind. 
" I know Madeleine well," she said ; " I know how fair 
she is to see, in her snowy white caps. I know how her 
goodness is spoken of far and wide ; and I have even 
heard that she is to marry that hard-working lad I saw 
talking with you this morning. They will be a charming 
pair, and their home will be a delightful place. And you, 
dear old man, who have no ambition for yourself, but 
only care for your dear ones, you will have your reward 
for your cheerful faith in the future. Take up your pick 
and have courage over your digging. I grant you this 
corner of my domain. The rest I am sure you will 
respect, for you are not greedy ; will the others who come 
after you spare it, too ? Alas, when once the moor has 
been cleared all over and cultivated, I shall have to 
die ! But we will only think of the happiness of your 
young folk ; and, silence ! not a word of all this to 
my one ! " 

And with a finger on her lips, she vanished. 

By the end of October Father Rameau had dug over, 
cleared, and prepared two acres of ground. All by him- 
self? With his pickaxe and spade? Yes, quite by 
himself, and with his pickaxe and spade. He had worked 
as if by magic, for the fairy, always present and always 
invisible, had endowed him with some of her magic power. 
She helped him to split the hardest boulders, to haul 
up the most tenacious roots, to collect in bundles the old 
tree-stumps and weeds, and every kind of rubbish, and 
set fire to it, and so make the very first dressing the 



The Mid-day Rock. 153 

soil had ever had on it. Will you believe it ? By seed- 
sowing time the ground was ready, and was sown with 
oats, which began to grow in no time, came well through 
all the frosts, and by the following April was waving 
abroad in a luxuriant mass of green. A lark built its 




FATHER RAMEAU CLEARS THE PATCH. 

nest in it, and every morning nodded its little tufted head 
at Father Rameau, who was watching over its nest, as 
if out of gratitude for what he had done. 

The harvest was splendid, and fetched a high price. 

George could no longer smile at Father Rameau's old 
arms, and had to confess he had found his master : Father 



154 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Rameau smiled slily when he said, " After all, nephew, 
we shall have a gold ring for Madeleine." But when the 
time came for getting it, Madeleine would not allow it. 
" No, father," she said, " you have toiled and moiled this 
year at your digging; buy a plough: any one will lend 
you a plough-horse for a few days, and it won't be nearly 
such hard work for you." 

So when autumn came again, the old man cleared 
another two acres, and next summer his harvest was 
twice as big and so were his profits. 

Madeleine still refused the precious ring. " Buy a pair 
of oxen," she said ; " you will be independent then of 
every one." 

Next year the old man's field was bigger than ever ; 
and Madeleine advised him to use the profit of his harvest 
for building a little house. Her modest, sensible advice 
was acted upon every time, and, in fact, when the wedding- 
day arrived, the gold ring had still not been bought 
and at the marriage ceremony, in the church at Treigny, 
it was over the old leaden rings of their betrothal that 
the cur6 pronounced his blessing. " We have given our 
hearts to each other," said the young wife ; " what do 
we want with gold rings after that ? What do you think, 
George ? " 

" I mean to spend the money on a christening robe, 
then," said Father Rameau gaily. "Bless me, things'll 
have to be just so then, if ever they are ! If you only 
knew what kind of a god-mother " 

But he stopped short just in time, remembering the 
fairy's injunction about silence ; and Madeleine, whom he 
had made very inquisitive, could not get another word 



The Mid-day Rock. 155 

out of him. She never found out what he meant till 
her first baby was born, when on the day of the christen- 
ing there stepped into the cottage, surrounded by a circle 
of bright light, the marvellous god-mother, the Fairy of 
the Moor. 




"THE FAIRY 07 THE MOOR." 

Many tried to follow Father Rameau's example and 
cultivate a portion of the moor ; but very few succeeded, 
because the fairy could see into the very bottom of 
their hearts, and would only help the true-hearted rare 
folk, alas ! in this world. There is much left still to be 
cleared. And she yet lives on, the little fairy of the 
silvery tunic embroidered with gorse blossoms, with her 



156 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

crown of heather bells, and her wand a verdant broom 
branch. But if ever you want to see her, as old Father 
Rameau did, you must arrive at the Mid-day Rock on 
the first stroke of twelve, and have a conscience perfectly 
clear ; two conditions which seem easy enough, and which 
arc really very difficult of fulfilment 



Lillekort. 




ffrom tbe 

jfrencb of f avfer 

jffcarmter. 



THERE was once a man and his wife who were 
very, very poor, and had a great many children. 
Each year added one to the number. One day 
the wife gave birth to a beautiful boy, who, on opening 
his eyes, cried : 

"Dearest mother, give me some of my brother's old 
clothes, and food for two days, and I will go into the 
world and seek my fortune, for I see you have enough 
children here without me." 

" Heaven forbid, my child ! " exclaimed the mother. 
" You are much too young to leave the house." 

But the little one insisted ; so at length his mother 
gave him some clothes and some food, and he departed, 



160 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

full of joy. Lillekort (for so he named himself) travelled 
towards the east Presently he met an old, one-eyed 
woman, and took away her eye. 

"Alasl" she cried, "I can no longer see. What will 
become of me ? " 

" What will you give me for your eye ? " asked 
Lillekort. 

" A sword that will slay a whole army, no matter 
how numerous." 

"So be it." 

Lillekort took the sword and continued his journey. 
A little farther on he met another old, one-eyed woman, 
took away her eye, and asked what she would give him 
for returning it. 

The old woman said she would give him a ship 
that would sail over land and sea, over mountains and 
valleys, and on his agreeing, she gave him a little ship 
so small and light that he could carry it about in his 
pocket 

As soon as he was quite alone Lillekort stopped to 
examine his little vessel He drew it from his pocket 
and put one foot in it Immediately it grew larger. 
He put in the second foot It grew yet larger. He 
sat down in it It inceased yet more. Then he said : 

"Go over the waves of the ocean, over mountains 
and through valleys, until you reach the palace of the 
King." 

The ship immediately sped through space with the 
rapidity of a bird, and stopped in front of a magnificent 
palace. From one of the windows of this palace several 
persons beheld, with astonishment and interest, this boy 



Lillekort. 1 6 1 

who travelled in a manner so strange, and they hastened 
out to obtain a nearer view of the wonder. But Lillekort 
had already put his ship in his pocket They asked 
who he was and whence he came. To these different 
questions he knew not how to reply ; but in a firm 
voice said he wished to enter the service of the King, 
no matter in what capacity; if need be, as a servant 
of the servants. 

His humble request was granted. He was ordered to 
fetch wood and water for the kitchen. Arriving at the 
palace he saw with surprise that all the walls were hung 
with black, both without and within. 

" Wherefore," he asked the cook, " this appearance of 
mourning ? " 

" Alas ! " she replied, " the only daughter of our King 
has been promised to three trolls, enormous ogres, and 
Thursday next the first comes to claim her. A knight, 
whose name is Rend, has undertaken to defend her. 
But how should he succeed? In the meantime we are 
all plunged in anguish and affliction." 

Thursday evening Rend led the Princess to the sea- 
shore. It was here he had to defend her. But he was 
not very brave, so instead of waiting near her he climbed 
a tree and hid among the branches. In vain the Princess 
begged him to assist her. 

" No, no," said he ; " why two victims ? One is sufficient." 

At that moment Lillekort asked the cook's permission 
to go to the sea-shore. 

" Go," said she, " but be sure you return by the time 
I prepare supper, and do not forget to bring me a good 
load of wood." 

II 



Ib2 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Lillekort promised, and ran toward the beach. At 
the same time the troll appeared, making a noise like 
thunder. His body was of enormous dimensions and 
he had five frightful heads. 

" Madman ! " he cried, on seeing the little kitchen-boy. 

" Madman ! " repeated Lillekort. 

" Do you know how to fight ? " 

" If I do not know I will learn." 

The troll then threw a bar of iron at Lillekort, 
which, falling on the ground, raised a pile of sand and 
dust. 

" A beautiful tower of strength," cried Lillekort. " Now, 
see mine." 

With these words he drew his sword, and with one 
blow smote off the monster's five heads. 

Finding herself delivered, the Princess began to dance 
and sing gaily, then she said to the young boy : " Rest, 
lay your head on my knees." 

Whilst he thus rested she placed on him a suit of 
golden armour. 

All danger being over, Rend came down from the 
tree, took the tongues and lungs of the monster, and 
then told the Princess he would kill her unless she 
promised to acknowledge him publicly as her deliverer. 
She yielded to his threats, and he returned with her 
in triumph to the palace. The King loaded him with 
honours, and at supper seated him at his right hand. 
Meanwhile, Lillekort entered the giant's ship, and brought 
from thence a quantity of gold and silver trinkets. 

" From whence all these riches ? " asked the cook 
anxiously, for she feared he had stolen them. 



Lillekort. 



163 



" Reassure yourself," he replied. " I went home for a 
moment; these trinkets fell from an old piece of furni- 
ture, so I brought them back for you." 

" What beautiful things ! A thousand thanks 1 " 




'WHILST HE THUS RESTED SHE PLACED ON HIM A SUIT OF GOLDEN 
ARMOUR (p. 162). 

The Thursday following, fresh grief, fresh anguish. 
However, Rend said as he had vanquished the first 
troll, he reckoned he could conquer the second. But 
this time also he took refuge among the branches of a 
tree, saying : " Why two victims ? One is surely sufficient" 

Lillekort again obtained the cook's permission to go 



1 64 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

out, he said to play with some children on the sea- 
shore ; so he hastened forth, after promising to return 
by the time she prepared supper, and bring a good 
load of wood. 

As he reached the shore he saw the troll approaching. 
He was twice as colossal as the first, and had ten 
heads. 

" Madman ! " exclaimed the troll, on seeing Lillekort 

" Madman ! " repeated the valiant boy, and on the 
troll asking if he could fight, replied, as on the former 
occasion, that he could learn. 

The giant then threw a bar of iron at him, which, 
falling on the ground, raised a column of dust thirty 
feet high. 

" A beautiful tower of strength," said the boy. " Now, 
see mine." And drawing his sword, he, with one blow, 
smote off the monster's ten heads. 

Again the Princess desired him to rest his head on 
her knees, and this time she placed on him a suit of 
silver armour. 

Rend now came down from the tree, took the tongues 
and lungs of the troll, and returned with the Princess 
in triumph to the palace, after having declared he would 
kill her if she did not acknowledge him publicly as her 
deliverer. The King received him with enthusiasm, and 
knew not how to show his gratitude. 

Lillekort returned to the kitchen, carrying a quantity 
of gold and silver he had taken from the troll's ship. 

The third Thursday, the palace was again hung with 
black, and the people were plunged in grief. But Rend 
said he had already conquered two formidable monsters 



Lillekort. 




'HE HAD FIFTEEN HEADS " (/. l66). 



1 66 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

and would overcome the third. But, as on the preceding 
Thursdays, he hid in the tree, and when the Princess 
implored him to remain with her, said one victim was 
sufficient. 

Lillekort, who had again obtained the cook's permission 
to go out, reached the shore at the same time as the 
monster, who was much more terrible than either of the 
two former. He had fifteen heads, and the bar of iron 
he threw at his brave little adversary raised a column 
of earth forty feet high. Lillekort, however, with 
his magic sword, struck off the fifteen heads at one 
blow. 

" Rest," said the Princess ; " rest your head on my 
knees." 

Whilst he thus rested, she put on him a suit of bronze 
armour, and said : 

"How can we make it known that it is you who 
saved me ? " 

"Listen," replied Lillekort, "this is my idea. Rend 
will go without scruple to claim the reward promised 
to your deliverer: your hand and the half of your 
father's kingdom. When the day for your marriage 
arrives say you wish to be served at table by the 
boy who carries wood and water to the kitchen. I will 
let a few drops of wine fall on Rend's plate. He will 
strike me. A second and a third time I will do the 
same, and again he will strike me ; then you shall say : 
'For shame to strike him whom I love he who saved 
me he whom I should wed ! ' " 

Seeing the troll was dead, Rend came down from 
the tree and led the Princess back to the palace, after 




" Lillekort with his magic sword struck off the fifteen heads 
at one blow." 



Lillekort. 



167 



having made her swear a third time to proclaim him as 
her deliverer. 

The King announced that his daughter's deliverer 




'IN ARMOUR OF GLITTERING GOLD" ( p. l68). 



should receive in the most splendid manner the reward 
he had so well deserved. The cowardly knight was 
betrothed to the Princess, and half the kingdom was 
given him. The day of the Princess's marriage she 



1 68 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

would be served by the boy who carried wood and 
water to the kitchen. 

" What ! " exclaimed Rend, in disgust, " you wish that 
dirty, hideous little varlet to come near you?" 

"Yes, I wish it." 

Lillekort was summoned, and, as he had said, he 
once, twice, thrice let some drops of wine fall in Rend's 
plate. 

The first time he was struck the coarse garments he 
wore fell off, and the valiant boy appeared in a suit of 
bronze armour, the second time in silver armour, and 
the third time in armour of glittering gold. 

Then the Princess cried : " For shame to strike him 
whom I love he who saved me he whom I should 
wed ! " 

Rend swore loudly that it was he who had saved 
her. 

" Let us see the proofs of the victors," said the King. 

The knight immediately showed the tongues and lungs 
of the trolls. 

Lillekort fetched the treasures he had taken from the 
monsters' ships. At the sight of the gold, silver, and 
diamonds, no one had the slightest doubt. 

"The trolls alone have such treasures," said the King, 
"and only he who kills them can obtain possession of 
their riches." 

Rend, the coward and impostor, was thrown into a 
ditch full of serpents, and the Princess's hand was given 
to Lillekort, together with half of the kingdom. 



The Ten Little Fairies. 




THE TEN LITTLE 
FAIRIES. 



VAINLY I try to recall from my recollections oi 
yesterday, still vividly remembered, and from 
those of the long past, grown tenderly dim 
in the mists of intervening time, from whom I learned 
the powerfully moral story I am here going to repeat 
to children great and small, to men and their companions : 
I cannot determine from whom it was I learned it. 

Did I first read it in some old book laden with the 
dust of ages ? Was it told to me by my mother, by 
my nurse, one evening when I would not go to sleep 
or one night when, sleeping soundly, a fairy came and 
sang it to me in my slumber? I cannot tell. I cannot 



172 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

remember. I have forgotten all the details, of which 
there only remains with me the subtle perfume too fine 
and evanescent for me to seize it in its passage through 
my mind. But I retain perfectly retain the moral, 
which is the daughter of all things healthy and strong. 

The things which I am going to recount happened in 
a charming country one of those bright lands which we 
see only in delightful dreams, where the men are all 
good and the women all as amiable as they are beautiful. 

In that happy country there lived a great nobleman 
who, left a widower early in life, had an only daughter 
whom he loved more than anything in the whole 
world. 

Rosebelle was seventeen years old a pure marvel of 
grace and beauty ; gay as a joyous heart, good as a 
happy one. For ten leagues round she was known to 
be the most beautiful and best. She was simple and 
gentle, and her exquisite ingenuousness caused her 
everywhere in the mansion and the cottage to be 
'beloved. 

Her father, fearful lest the least of the distresses of 
our poor existence should overtake her, watched over 
her with jealous care, so that no harm should come to 
her ; while she passed her days in calmly thinking of 
the time before her, sure that it would not be other 
than delightful. 

When she was eighteen, her father consented to her 
being betrothed to the son of a Prince to Greatheart 
a handsome youth, who had been carefully reared, and 
detested the false excitements and factitious pleasures 
of cities loving enthusiastically the fresh charms of 



The Ten Little Fairies. 173 

Nature of the common mother who claims us all, the 
Earth. 

Rosebelle loved her fianct, married, and adored him. 

With him she went to live in the admirable calm of 
the country, in the midst of great trees that gave back 
the plaint of winds, by a river with its ever-flowing song, 
winding under willowy banks, and overshadowed by tall 
poplars. 

She lived in a very old, old castle, where the sires of 
her husband had been born a great castle reached by 
roads hewn out of the solid rock ; a great castle, with 
immense, cold halls, where echo answered echo mys- 
teriously ; where the night-owl drearily replied to the 
early thrush's song to the rising sun, and the other 
awakened birds singing and chirping on the borders of 
the deep woods, where the sun enters timidly almost 
with the hesitation of a trespasser. 

When the time for parting came, her father had said 
to her, through his tears : 

" You are going from me your happiness claims that 
I should let you go : go, therefore, but take all care of 
yourself for love of me, who have only you in the world 
to love." 

To his son-in-law he said : 

" Watch over her, I intrust her to you. Surround her 
with a thousand safeguards ; screen her from the least 
chance of harm or pain. Remember that even in stooping 
to pluck a flower she may fall and wound herself, that 
in gathering a fruit she may tear her hand. See that all 
is done for her that can be done, keep her for me ever 
beautiful." 



174 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Absorbed in her love for her husband, Rosebelle realised 
the sweet dreams of her young girlhood. Then she 
dreamed languorously Heaven knows what ! The de- 
lightful future which she had seen in the visions of the 
past was still present with her, however. 

Her husband, tender and good, wished that she should 
do nothing but live and love. He had surrounded her 
with numerous servants, all ready to obey the least of 
her desires, the slightest of her fancies, to comprehend 
the most trivial of her wants. She had nothing to do 
but to let time glide slowly by her. 

At length she wearied languished mysteriously. 

Her father, to whom she communicated this strange 
experience, was astounded. He reminded her of all the 
sources of happiness which ought to have existed in 
her case. He took her in his arms and said all he 
could think of in laudation of the husband who so greatly 
loved her ; gave her innumerable reasons why her happi- 
ness ought to have been unparalleled ; offered money- 
more money wishful to give all the felicities in the world. 

She wished for nothing of all that ; it only tired, 
enervated her. 

He besought her to be happy ; she replied : 

" I wish I could be so, for your sake and for that of 
my husband, whom I love so dearly." 

And she struggled against the strange evil which so 
weighed upon her, against the deadly ennui that was 
sapping her young life. But the mysterious ill which 
tormented her soul grew and grew until it became over- 
whelming. 

Greatheart speedily detected her distress, and sought 



The Ten Little Fairies. 175 

to discover its cause, but ineffectually ; and from alarm 
he passed into despair. 




"SHE vowtD FOR HIM A BOUNDLESS LOVE" (/. 176). 

Now, when he returned from the plain, the fields, or 
the camp, when he embraced her he pressed against his 



176 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

bosom a bosom cold and filled with sadness and tears 
a bosom so cold that it might have been thought to con- 
tain a block of ice in place of a heart and he redoubled 
his tenderness towards her. Seeing how much he was 
suffering on her account, she vowed for him a boundless 
love. 

Courageous, energetic even, she tried to shake off the 
languor which possessed her, endeavouring to intoxicate 
her soul and drown her self-consciousness in the love 
of her adored husband ; but all her efforts were made 
in vain ; she became more and more oppressed with 
weariness, and the crowd of servants about her, all eager 
to realise her wishes, were utterly unable to mitigate her 
condition by anything they could do. 

At last she fell into a state of the deepest melancholy. 
The rose-tints faded from her cheeks, her beauty paled 
like that of a languishing flower ; the light in her eyes 
grew each day more dim. She was veiy ill. 

The most learned doctors in the healing art were called 
to her, brought, regardless of cost, from the most distant 
countries, only to confess their complete inability ; ex- 
cusing themselves by affirming that there was no remedy 
for an indefinable ailment an ailment impalpable, in- 
comprehensible. 

Then, one day, an old, white-haired shepherd, with a 
long, snowy beard, who had learned to understand men 
from having always lived alone with his sheep and 
thinking, thinking, while he led them to their pasture 
an old philosopher came to Greatheart, of whom he 
was one of the vassals, and said to him : 

"I know where there lives, close by here, an old 



The Ten Little Fairies. 177 

grand-dame, with one foot in the grave, she is so old 
People call her a sorceress ; but never mind that ; she, 
and she alone, can cure our lady, our mistress, whom 
you love so well." 

Knowing not what to do in his suffering, Greatheart 
believed what the old shepherd told him. 

He took Rosebelle far away from the castle along the 
bank of the river, to a spot where the path ran between 
high rocks, leading to a deep and profoundly dark cavity, 
within which they found the old, old woman of whom 
the shepherd had spoken, crouching by the side of a 
scanty fire of pine-branches, warming herself in their 
fitful light, in the midst of owls and ravens, cats and 
rats with phosphorescent eyes, showing green in the 
obscurity when lit by the intermittent sparkle of the 
crackling branches on the hearth. 

"Ho, there! sorceress!" cried the young Prince. 
" Cure my wife, and I will give you the half of all I 
possess ! " 

The very old woman looked for a long time at Rosebelle 
out of her little bright eyes, meeting those of the young 
Princess, and holding her as if by a spell. For awhile 
longer she remained silent, as if in contemplation ; then, 
suddenly, she rose to her feet, raised her long arms 
towards the herbs suspended from the rocky roof of her 
dwelling-place, spread out her fleshless fingers and cried : 

" I see ! I see ! I understand it all ! Yes, my lord, 
I will cure your wife, your adored one ; and presently in 
your arms, on your heart, shall sleep a heart beating 
with great joy for love of you ! " 

As they both sprang nearer to her, the better to 

12 



178 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

hear her wonderful words, the old woman retreated, 
saying : 

"Yes, I will cure her; but to aid me in the task, I 
need the assistance of ten little fairies ten friends who 
have ever been dear to me, ever faithful to me, and who, 
by an unfortunate chance, have not visited me to-day. 
To-morrow I shall be sure to have them with me, my 
tiny comrades ; so come back to me to-morrow, my dear, 
when I will detain them until you arrive, and will take 
measures for enabling them to cure you." 

The sun, next day, had hardly risen, hardly caressed 
the earth with its earliest beam, when Rosebelle re-entered 
the old sorceress's murky dwelling-place. 

Over the still crackling fire of pine-branches she ex- 
tended her white hands by direction of the old woman, 
who raised her arms and uttered some curious words, 
accompanied by some strange gestures. 

Then, from a small cavity in the rocky wall she 
appeared to draw forth an invisible something, which 
she carefully conveyed to the shelter of her bare bosom. 
And when she had repeated these actions ten times, she 
cried : 

" I have them ! I have them all ! all warm in my 
bosom my faithful little fairies! Oh ! do not attempt 
to see them, or they will at once fly away. They desire 
to serve you to cure you. Here they are ! " 

And laughing, dancing, and singing, the old, old woman 
tapped with the crooked thumb of her right hand the 
young Princess's ten extended fingers, while the quaint 
song she sang was gaily given back by the echo of the 
rocky vault above her. This was the song she sang, 



The Ten Little Fairies. 179 




180 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

holding the Princess's delicate fingers caressingly in her 
left hand : 

" Ten good little fairies hie, 
To these ten good fingers nigh : 
Each of you reside in one 
Until your kindly task is done, 
Until by certain signs you're sure 
That you have made a perfect cure. 
Potent fairies, from this hour 
Exercise your utmost pow'r; 
Drive away the evil spell 
Cast on one who 11 love you well ! " 

Then, still laughing heartily, she pressed Rosebelle's, 
fingers tightly, and went on : 

" They are all here, the wonderful little doctors ! Guard 
them preciously ; do not weary them ; keep them by you 
and, to do all that, never give them a moment's rest so 
long as the sun shines in the sky. Keep on moving 
them actively, rapidly so long as you are awake. Now 
go, and come back to me when you are quite cured, 
returning me my trusty little fairies." 

With her hands filled with this precious load, Rosebelle 
hurried home, and told Greatheart of her dear hope of 
a renewal of life. 

Of an evening, thenceforth, for a long time, she would 
even refrain from eating, so as to leave herself more time 
to exercise her unresting fingers, in which the ten little 
fairies were tenderly housed. As soon as the sun had 
sunk beneath the earth she went to sleep, and as soon 
as daylight returned, she at once rose and began once 
again to move her fairy-laden fingers. 

During many, many days she continued to move her 



The Ten Little Fairies. 



181 



fingers in every way she could devise ; but at length, 
growing tired of this useless play, she went back to her 
old friend the sorceress. 




" ROSEBELLE DREW HER HARP FROM ITS CASE AND PLAYED ON IT " (/. l82). 

"Nobody ever taught you to use your fingers use- 
fully ? " replied the old woman. " Go oti moving them, 



1 82 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

still moving them, but in some employment that interests 
you. Don't let my fairies go to sleep that is all they 
desire in their imprisonment." 

On returning home, Rosebelle drew her long-neglected 
harp from its case and played on it Then, to occupy 
her fingers more usefully, she had needles brought to her 
and employed them in dainty sewing. 

But, growing weary of the dull monotony of these 
labours, she sought more varied employment for her 
fingers gathered flowers in the garden and arranged 
them in charming bouquets ; plucked fruit from the 
trees in the orchard ; attended to the sick and ailing ; 
consoled the poor exercising her fingers constantly by 
slipping gold pieces into their grateful hands. 

One by one, she sent away her crowd of obsequious 
servants, who had now nothing left for them to do but 
to go to sleep at their posts. 

She would not allow anybody to do anything for her 
which she could do for herself, but threw her whole 
soul and being into the things God intended to be done 
by them. 

Every day, and all the while the sun shone in the 
sky, she found active employment for her beautiful fingers. 
And the roses came back to her cheeks and health to 
all her being, and songs and laughter to her lips ; and 
she could, once again, give to her beloved one a heart 
filled with ineffable tenderness. 

Perfectly cured, she went to the sorceress and gave 
her back her wonderful little fairy doctors. 

" Ah, my child ! " said the old dame, " they are very 
proud of having saved you. Give them to me, for I 



The Ten Little Fairies. 183 

have every day great need of them can never have too 
much of them. Indeed, if I had enough of them to 
serve all the idlers in the world, I should want as many 
as there are stars in the heavens at night. But I will 
keep those I have for the service of those who are 
pining from ennui and there are enough of them> good- 
ness knows ! " 



The Magician and his Pupil. 



jfrom tbe Overman or H. (Bofcfn 




THERE was once a poor shoemaker renowned far 
and wide as a drunkard. He had a good wife 
and many daughters, but only one son. As 
soon as this son was old enough his mother dressed him 
in his best clothes, combed his hair until it shone, and 
then led him far, far away ; for she wished to take him 
to the capital, and there apprentice him to a master 
who would teach him a really good trade. 

When they had accomplished about half their journey 
they met a man in black, who asked whither they were 
going and the object of their journey. On being told, 
he offered to take the boy as his apprentice, but as he 
had not given the customary Christian greeting, and 
would not mention the name of his trade, also because 



1 88 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the mother thought there was a wicked gleam in his 
eyes, she declined to trust him with her son. As he 
persisted in his offer they were rude, then he troubled 
them no further. 

Shortly after leaving the old man they came to a 
wide stretch of land, solitary and barren as a desert, 
over which they journeyed until hunger, thirst, and 
fatigue compelled them to rest Exhausted, they sank 
on the sandy ground and wept bitterly. Suddenly, at 
a short distance from them arose a large stone, on whose 
surface stood a dish of smoking roast beef, a loaf of 
white bread, and a jug of foaming ale. 

Eagerly the weary travellers hastened forward. Alas ! 
the moment they moved, meat and drink vanished, 
leaving the stone bare and barren ; but as soon as they 
stepped back, the food again made its appearance. 
After this had happened several times the shoemaker's 
son guessed what was at the bottom of it. Pointing 
his stick of aspen wood a wood, by the way, very 
powerful against enchantment he cautiously approached 
the stone, and thrust his stick into that place on the 
earth where the shadow of the stone rested. 

Immediately the stone with everything on it disap- 
peared, and in the place where the shadow had lain 
stood the stranger in black who had met them earlier 
in the day. He bowed politely to the youth and re- 
quested him to remove his stick. 

" No, that I will not do ! This time the stone has 
met its match ! You are a magician, or at least a ne- 
cromancer. You locked us in this desert and amused 
yourself with our misery. Now you shall be treated 



The Magician and his Pupil. 189 

as you deserve. You shall stand here for a year and 
six weeks, until you are as dry as the stick with which 
I have nailed you to the earth." 

" Loose me, I entreat you." 

" Yes, on certain conditions ! First, you must once 
more become a stone, and on the stone must appear 
everything we have already seen." 

The magician immediately vanished, and in his stead 
appeared the stone covered with a white cloth, and 
bearing the hot roast beef, white bread, and foaming 
ale, of which the travellers ate and drank to their hearts' 
content. When they had finished the stone became 
the man in black, who entreated piteously to be un- 
nailed. 

" I will unnail you directly," said the youth, " but 
only on one condition. You must take me as apprentice 
for three years, as you yourself formerly proposed, and 
give m2 a pledge that you will really teach me all 
your art." 

The magician bowed himself to the earth, dug his 
fingers into the sand, and drew forth a handful of 
ducats, which he threw into the boy's cap. 

"Thanks," replied the youth; "this money will be 
very useful to my mother, but you must give me a 
better pledge than that. I must have a piece of your 
ear." 

" Will nothing else serve ? " 

" Nothing ! " 

" Well, then," said the magician, " take your knife." 

" I have no knife with me," replied the youth ; " you 
must lend me yours." 



The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The magician obediently lent his knife, and bent his 
right ear towards the youth. 

" No, no, I want the left ear ; you offer the right 
far too willingly." 

The magician then offered his left ear ; and the 
youth cut off a slant piece, laid it in his wallet, and 
then drew his stick out of the ground. The magician 
groaned, rubbed his mutilated ear, then, turning a 
somersault, changed himself into a black cock, ordered 
the youth to take his mother back, and return at mid- 
night and await his arrival at the cross-road where 
they now stood, when he would take him home and 
teach him for three years. The cock then flapped his 
wings, changed into a magpie, and flew away. 

When the youth had accompanied his mother to the 
next village he kissed her hands and feet, shook the 
gold into her apron, and begged her to call for him in 
three years at the place where he had made his agree- 
ment with the magician. He then hastened back and 
reached the cross-road just at midnight. 

Being very tired he leaned against the mile-stone to 
await the arrival of his master. He waited long, then 
as no one came, he drew the piece of the magician's 
ear from his wallet and bit it hard. At this the mile- 
stone staggered, cracked, and roared. The youth sprang 
quickly aside, looked at the inscription, and cried : " Ho ! 
ho ! Is that you, master ? " 

" Of course, it is ! But why did you bite me ? " asked 
the magician. 

" Take human form instantly ! " replied the youth. 
"I have done so ! " With this the man in black 



The Magician and his Pupil. 191 

stood on the cross-road. " Now we will go home," said 
he. " I take you as my pupil, but remember, from this 
moment you remain my pupil and servant, until, the 
three years ended, your mother fetches you away." 

Thus the youth became the magician's pupil. You 
wish to know how he taught him his art ? Well, so 




"THE MILE-STONE STAGGERED, CRACIUD, AND ROARKD" (p. 190.) 

be it. He stretched his hands and feet, turned him 
into a paper bag, and then left him to return to his 
proper shape as best he could. Or else, he thrust his 
hand and arm up to the shoulder down the youth's 
throat, turned him inside out, and left him to turn him- 
self right. 

The youth learnt so well, that at the end of the three 
years his skill in magic surpassed even that of his 



1 92 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

master. During this time many parents had come to 
fetch their children, for the magician had quite a crowd 
of pupils ; but the cunning old man always contrived 
that they went away without them. Three days before 
the time appointed for the shoemaker's wife to fetch 
her son, the youth met her on the road and told her 
how to recognise him. 

"Remember, dearest mother," said he, "when the 
magician calls his horses together, a fly will buzz over 
my ear; when the doves fly down, I shall not eat of 
the peas ; and when the maidens stand around you, a 
brown mole will make its appearance above my eye- 
brow ! Be sure you remember this, or you will destroy 
us both." 

When the shoemaker's wife demanded her son of the 
magician, he blew a brazen trumpet towards all four 
corners of the world. Immediately a crowd of coal- 
black horses rushed forward ; they were not, however, 
real horses, but enchanted scholars. 

" Find your son then you can take him with you ! " 
said the magician. 

The mother went from horse to horse, trying hard 
to recognise her son ; she trembled at the mere thought 
that she might make a mistake, and thus destroy both 
herself and her beloved child. At length she noted a 
fly buzzing over the ear of one of the horses, and cried 
joyfully : " That is my son ! " 

" Right," said the magician ; " now guess again." So 
saying he blew a silver trumpet towards the corners of 
the earth, and threw on the ground half a bushel of 
peas. Then like some vast cloud down flew a flock 



The Magician and his Pupil. 193 

ot doves, and began eagerly picking up the peas. The 
shoemaker's wife looked at dove after dove, until she 
found one that only appeared to eat "That is my 
son ! " said she. 

" Right again ! Now comes the third and last trial. 
Guess right, and your son goes with you ; guess wrong, 
and he remains with me for ever." The magician then 
blew his trumpet, and immediately beautiful songs re- 
sounded through the air. At the same time lovely 
maidens approached and surrounded the shoemaker's 
wife. They were all crowned with cornflowers, and wore 
white robes with rose-coloured girdles. 

The shoemaker's wife examined each carefully, and 
saw a brown mole over the right eye of the most 
beautiful. " This is my son ! " she exclaimed. 

Scarcely had she spoken than the maiden changed 
into her son, threw himself into her arms, and thanked 
her for his deliverance. The other maidens flew away, 
and the mother and son returned home. 

The student of magic had not been long at home 
before he discovered that in his father's house Want 
was a constant guest. The money given by the magician 
had long since come to an end, for the shoemaker had 
spent it all in drink. 

" What have you learnt in foreign parts ? " he asked 
his son. " What help am I to expect from you." 

" I have learned magic, and will give you help enough. 
I earn at your wish change myself into all possible 
shapes, to-day into a falcon, to-morrow into a greyhound, 
a nightingale, a sheep, or any other form. Lead me as 
an animal to market, and there sell me, but be sure 

13 



194 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

always to bring back the rope with which you led me 
thither, and never desire me to become a horse : the 
money thus acquired would be useless to you, and you 
would make me, and through me yourself, unhappy." 

Thereupon the shoemaker demanded a falcon for sale ; 
his son at once disappeared, and a splendid falcon sat 
on the father's shoulder. The shoemaker took the bird 
to market, where he sold it to a hunter for a good price, 
but on returning home, he found his son seated at the 
table enjoying a good dinner. 

When the money thus gained had been spent to the 
last farthing, the shoemaker required a greyhound, which 
he again sold to a hunter, and on his return home found 
his son had arrived there before him. 

Thus the father led his son to market again and 
again, as an ox, a cow, a sheep, a goose, a turkey, and 
in many other animal forms. One day he thought : " I 
should very much like to know why my son does not 
wish to become a horse ! Surely he takes me for a fool, 
and grudges me the best prize ! " He was half drunk 
when he thought this, and then and there desired his 
son to become a horse. Hardly had he spoken than 
his wish was gratified : a splendid horse stood before 
the window ; he dug his hoofs deep into the ground, 
whilst his eyes shot forth lightning, and flames issued 
from his nostrils. 

The shoemaker mounted and rode into the town. 
Here a merchant stopped him, admired the horse, and 
offered to give the animal's weight in gold if his master 
would only sell him. They went together to a pair of 
scales : the merchant shook gold from a sack on one 



The Magician and his Pupil. 195 

of the wooden scales, whilst the shoemaker made his 
horse mount on the other. As he was staring in amaze- 
ment at the heap of gold in the scales, one of the 
chains broke, and the gold pieces rolled over the street. 




"THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE LOOKED AT DOVE AFTER DOVE" (p. 193). 

The shoemaker threw himself on the ground to pick 
them up, and forgot both the horse and bridle. 

The merchant meanwhile mounted the horse, and 
galloped out of the town, digging his spurs into the 
poor animal's sides until the blood flowed, and beating 
him cruelly with a steel riding-whip ; for this merchant 



196 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

tvas none other than the magician, who thus revenged 
himself for the piece cut from his ear. 

The poor horse was quite exhausted when the magician 
arrived with him at his invisible dwelling ; this house, 
it is true, stood in an open field, yet no one could see 
it. The horse was then led to the stable, whilst the 
magician considered how he might best torture him. 

But while the magician was considering, the horse, 
who knew what a terrible fate awaited him, succeeded 
in throwing the bridle over a nail, on which it remained 
hanging, thus enabling him to draw his head out. He 
fled across the field, and changing into a gold ring, 
threw himself before the feet of a beauteous Princess just 
returning from bathing. 

The Princess stooped, picked up the gold circle, 
slipped it on her finger, and then looked around in 
wonder. In the meantime, the magician changed into 
a Grecian merchant came up and courteously asked 
the Princess to return the gold ring he had lost. Terrified 
at the sight of his black beard and gleaming eyes, the 
Princess screamed aloud, and pressed the ring to her 
breast. 

Alarmed by her ciies, her attendants and playmates, 
vho were waiting near, hastened up and formed a circle 
round their beloved Princess. But as soon as they 
understood the cause of her distress, they threw them- 
selves on the importunate stranger, and began tickling 
him in such a manner that he laughed, cried, giggled, 
coughed, and at length danced over the ground like 
a maniac, forgetting through sheer distress that he was 
still a magician. 



The Magician and his Pupil. 197 

When, however, he did remember it, he changed him- 
self into a hedgehog, and stuck his bristles into the 
maidens until their blood flowed, and they were glad 
to leave him alone. 

Meanwhile the Princess hastened home and showed 




"HE DANCED OVER THE GROUND LIKE A MANIAC " (f. 196). 

her father the ring, which pleased her so much that 
she wore it on her heart-finger night and day. Once 
when playing with it, the ring slipped from her hand, 
fell to the ground and sprang in pieces, when, oh, wonder ! 
before her stood a handsome youth, the magician's pupil. 
At first the Princess was very troubled, and did not 
venture to raise her eyes, but when the scholar had told 



198 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

her everything she was satisfied, conversed with him a 
long while, and promised to ask her father to have the 
magician driven away by the dogs should he ever come 
to demand the ring. When in the course of the day 
the magician came, the King, in spite of all his daughter's 
entreaties, ordered the ring to be given up. 

With tears in her eyes the Princess took the ring 
(the scholar had resumed this form immediately after 
relating his adventures) and threw it at the merchant's 
feet. It shivered into little pearls. 

Trembling with rage, the merchant threw himself on 
the ground in the shape of a hen, picked up the pearls, 
and when he saw no more, flew out of the window, 
flapped his wings, cried, " Kikeriki I Scholar, are you 
here?" and then soared into the air. 

Having been told by the scholar what to do should 
she be compelled to return the ring, the Princess had 
let her handkerchief fall at the same moment she threw 
the ring on the ground, and two of the largest pearls 
had rolled beneath it. She now took out these pearls, 
and they immediately called, in mocking imitation of 
the hen's voice : 

" Kikeriki ! I am here ! " 

They then changed into a hawk and chased after the 
hen. Seizing it with his sharp talons, he bit its left 
wing with such force that all the feathers cracked, and 
the hen fell like a stone into the water, where it was 
drowned. 

The hawk then returned to the Princess, perched on 
her shoulder, gazed fondly into her eyes, and then 
became once more the young and handsome scholar. 



The Magician and his Pupil. 199 

The Princess had grown so fond of him that she chose 
him as her husband, and from that moment he gave up 
magic for ever. In his prosperity he did not forget his 
relations his mother lived with him and the Princess 
in their magnificent palace, his sisters married wealthy 
merchants, and even his father was content 

When the old King died the magician's pupil became 
King over the land, and lived so happily with his wife 
and children, and all his subjects, that no pen can write, 
no song sing, and no story tell of half their happiness. 



The Strawberry Thief. 




THE mid-day sun was shining brightly as two 
children ran merrily down the steep grassy slope 
leading from the little village to the neighbouring 
forest. Their loose, scanty clothing left head, neck, and 
feet bare. But this did not trouble them, for the sun's 
rays kissed their little round limbs, and the children liked 
to feel their warm kisses. 

They were brother and sister ; each carried a small jar 
to fill with strawberries, which their mother would sell 
in the town on the morrow. They were very poor, almost 
the poorest people in the village. Their mother, a widow, 
had to work hard to procure bread for herself and children. 

When strawberries or nuts were in season, or even the 
early violets, the children went into the forest to seek 
them, and by the fruit or flowers they gathered helped 
to earn many a groschen. The happy children ran 
joyously along as though they were the rulers of the 
beautiful world that stretched so seductively before them. 



204 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The forest berries were still scarce, and would fetch a 
high price in the town ; this is why they started so early 
in the afternoon, whilst other people still rested in their 
cool rooms. 

Deep in the forest was many a spot, well known to 
the children, where large masses of strawberry plants 
flourished and bloomed, covering the ground with a 
luxurious carpet. White star-like blossoms in profusion 
looked roguishly out from the ample foliage ; the little 
green and bright-red berries were there in crowds, but the 
ripe, dark-red fruit was difficult to find. 

Very slowly the work proceeded, and as the gathered 
treasures in their small jars grew higher and higher the 
sun sank lower and lower. Busy with their task, the 
children forgot laughter and chattering ; they tasted none 
of the lovely berries, scarcely looked at the violets and 
anemones ; the sun's rays peeping through the branches 
the cock-chafers and butterflies were alike unheeded. 

"Lorchen," cried Fried, at length, throwing back his 
sunburnt, heated face ; " look, Lorchen, my jar is full ! " 

Lorchen looked up, her face flushed with toil ; her poor 
little jar was scarcely half-full. Oh, how she envied her 
brother his full jar ! Fried was a good boy he loved his 
little sister dearly. He made her sit down on the soft 
grass, placed his jar beside her, and did not cease his 
work until Lorchen's jar was likewise filled. Their day's 
work was now ended. But it was so beautiful in the 
forest. The birds sang so joyfully among the leaves, 
everything exhaled the fragrance of the dewy evening 
that crept slowly between the trembling branches. 

At a little distance a small stretch of meadow shimmered 



The Strawberry Thief. 205 

through the trees. The bright sunshine still rested on the 
fresh, green grass, and thousands of daffodils, bluebells, 
pinks, and forget-me-nots unfolded there their varied 
beauties. It was a delightful play-place for the children. 
They hastened thither, placed their jars carefully behind 
a large tree-trunk, and soon forgot their hard afternoon's 
work in a merry game. Greyer grew the shadows, closer 
the dusk of evening veiled the lonely forest. Then the 
brother and sister thought of returning the rest had 
strengthened their weary limbs, and their game in the 
flowery meadow had made them cheerful and merry. 

Now the dew that wetted their bare feet, and hunger 
that began to make itself felt, urged them to return home. 
They ran to the tree behind which they had placed their 
jars, but oh, horror ! the jars had vanished. At first the 
children thought they had mistaken the place ; they 
searched farther, behind every trunk, behind every bush, 
but no trace of the jars could they find. 

They had vanished, together with the precious fruit. 
What would their mother say when they returned home, 
their task unfulfilled? With the price of the berries she 
intended to buy meal to make bread. They had been 
almost without bread for several days, and now they had 
not even the jars in which to gather other berries. 

Lorchen began to sob loudly ; Fried's face grew crimson 
with rage, and his eyes sparkled, he did not weep. The 
darkness increased, the tree-trunks looked black and 
spectral, the wind rustled in the branches. Who could 
have stolen their berries? No one had come near the 
meadow. Squirrels and lizards could not carry away 
jars. The poor children stood helpless beside the old 



206 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

tree-trunk. They could not return to their mother empty- 
handed ; they feared she would reproach them for losing 
sight of their jars. 

The little maiden shivered in her thin frock, and wept 
with fear, hunger, and fatigue. Fried took his little 
sister's hand, and said : " Listen, Lorchen : you must run 
home, it is night now in the forest. Tell mother our jars 
have disappeared, eat your supper, and go to bed and 
to sleep. I will remain here and search behind every 
tree and everywhere, until I find the jars. I am neither 
hungry nor tired, and am not afraid to pass the night 
alone in the forest, in spite of all the stories our grand- 
mother used to tell of wicked spirits in the forest, 
hobgoblins who tease children, will-o'-the-wisps, and 
mountain-demons who store their treasures beneath the 
earth." 

Lorchen shuddered and looked fearfully around she 
was a timid, weakly child. Wrapping her little arms in 
her apron, she wept bitterly. 

" Come home with me, Fried," she pleaded. " I am 
afraid to go through the gloomy forest alone ! " 

Fried took her hand and went with her until they saw 
the lights of the village. Then he stopped and said : 
" Now run along alone ; see, there is the light burning in 
our mother's window. I shall turn back, I cannot go 
home empty-handed." 

He turned quickly into the forest. Lorchen waited a 
moment, and cried, " Fried, Fried ! " Then, receiving no 
answer, she fled swiftly up the grassy slope she had 
descended so merrily a few hours previously. 

Their mother, who had grown uneasy at their prolonged 



The Strawberry Thief. 207 

absence, was standing at the door when Lorchen returned, 
weeping and breathless. Poor child, she had scarcely 




7 



LORCHEN BLGAN TO SOB*' (p. 2O5). 



strength enough left to tell that they had lost strawberries 
and jars, and that Fried had remained behind. 

The mother grew sad as she listened she had scarcely 
any bread left, and knew not whence to procure more ; 



208 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

but Fried remaining in the forest was worse than all, 
for she, like all the villagers, firmly believed in hob- 
goblins. Sadly she lay down to rest beside her little 
daughter. 

Fried ran ever farther and farther into the forest, 
through whose thick foliage the stars looked down timidly. 
He said his evening prayer, and no longer feared the 
rustling of the leaves, the cracking of the branches, or the 
whisper of the night wind in the trees. 

Soon the moon arose, and it was light enough for Fried 
to seek his jars. In vain his search the hours passed 
and he found nothing. At length he saw a small mountain 
overgrown with shrubs. Then the moon crept behind a 
thick cloud, and all was dark. Tired out, Fried sank 
down behind a tree and almost fell asleep. Suddenly he 
saw a bright light moving about close to the mountain, 
He sprang up and hastened towards it. 

Coming closer, he heard a peculiar noise, as of groans 
uttered by a man engaged in heavy toil. He crept softly 
forward, and beheld, to his astonishment, a little dwarf, 
who was trying to push some heavy object into a hole, 
that apparently led into the mountain. The little man 
wore a silver coat and a red cap with points, to which the 
wonderful light, a large, sparkling precious stone, was 
fastened. 

Fried soon stood close behind the dwarf, who in his 
eagerness had not observed the boy's approach, and saw 
with indignation that the object the little man was striving 
so hard to push into the hole was his jar of strawberries. 
In great wrath Fried seized a branch that lay near, and 
gave the little man a mighty blow. Thereupon the dwarf 




But Fried held him fast." 



page 209 



The Strawberry Thief. 209 

uttered a. cry very like the squeak of a small mouse, 
and tried to creep into the hole. 

But Fried held him fast by his silver coat, and angrily 
demanded where he had put his other jar of strawberries. 
The dwarf replied he had no other jar, and strove to 
free himself from the grasp of the little giant 

Fried again seized his branch, which so terrified the 
dwarf that he cried : " The other jar is inside ; I will fetch 
it for you." 

" I should wait a long time," said Fried, " if I once let 
you escape ; no, I will go with you and fetch my own 
jar." 

The dwarf stepped forward, the light in his cap shining 
brighter than the brightest candle. Fried followed, his 
jar in one hand, and the branch in the other. Thus they 
journeyed far into the mountain. The dwarf crept along 
like a lizard, but Fried, whose head almost touched the 
roof, could scarcely get along. 

At length strains of lovely music resounded through the 
vaulted passages : a little farther on their journey was 
stopped by a grey stone wall. Taking a silver hammer 
from his doublet, the little dwarf gave three sounding 
knocks on the wall ; it sprang asunder, and as it opened 
such a flood of light streamed forth that Fried was obliged 
to close his eyes. Half-blinded, with hand shading his 
face, he followed the dwarf, the stone door closed behind 
them, and Fried was in the secret dwellings of the gnomes. 

A murmur of soft voices, mingled with the sweet strains 
of the music, sounded in his ears. When at length he 
was able to remove his hand from his eyes, he saw a 
wondrous sight. A beauteous, loftv hall, hewn out of the 



210 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

rock, lay before him ; on the walls sparkled thousands of 
precious stones such as his guide had worn in his cap. 
They served instead of candles, and shed forth a radiance 
that almost blinded human eyes. 

Between them hung wreaths and sprays of flowers such 
as Fried had never before seen. All around crowds of 
wonderful little dwarfs stood gazing at him full of 
curiosity. 

In the centre of the hall stood a throne of green trans- 
parent stone, with cushions of soft mushrooms. On this 
sat the gnome-King ; around him was thrown a golden 
mantle, and on his head was a crown cut from a flaming 
carbuncle. Before the throne the dwarf, Fried's guide, 
stood relating his adventure. 

When the dwarf ceased speaking, the King rose, 
approached the boy, who still stood by the door, sur- 
rounded by the gnomes, and said : " You human child, 
what has brought you to my secret dwelling ? " 

" My Lord Dwarf," replied Fried politely, " I desire 
my strawberries which yonder dwarf has stolen. I pray 
you order them to be restored to me, and then suffer 
me to return to my mother." 

The King thought for a few moments, then he said : 
"Listen, to-day we hold a great feast, for which your 
strawberries are necessary. I will, therefore, buy them. 
I will also allow you to remain with us a short time, 
then my servants shall lead you back to the entrance 
of the mountain." 

" Have you money to buy my strawberries ? " asked the 
boy. 

Foolish child, know you not that the gold, silver, 



The Strawberry Thief. 211 

and copper come out of the earth ? Come with me and 
see my treasure-chambers." 

So saying, the King led him from the hall through long 




ILL GO WITH YOU" (/. 2O9). 



rooms, in which mountains of gold, silver, and copper 
were piled ; in other rooms lay like masses of precious 
stones. Presently they came to a grotto, in the centre 
of which stood a large vase. From out this vase poured 



212 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

three sparkling streams, each of a different colour : they 
flowed out of the grotto and discharged themselves into 
the veins of the rocks. 

Beside these streams knelt dwarfs, filling buckets with 
the flowing gold, silver, and copper, which other dwarfs 
carried away and stored in the King's treasure-chambers. 
But the greatest quantity flowed into the crevices of 
the mountain, from whence men dig it out with much 
toil. 

Fried would have liked to fill his pockets with the 
precious metals, but did not dare ask the gnome-King's 
permission. They soon returned to the hall where the 
feast was prepared. On a long white marble table stood 
rows of golden dishes filled with various dainties, prepared 
from Fried's strawberries. In the background sat the 
musicians, bees and grasshoppers, that the dwarfs had 
caught in the forest. The dwarfs ate off little gold plates, 
and Fried ate with them. But the pieces were so tiny, 
they melted on his tongue before he could taste them. 

After the feast came dancing. The gnome-men were 
old and shrivelled, with faces like roots of trees ; all 
wore silver coats and red caps. The gnome-maidens were 
tall and stately, and wore on their heads wreaths of flowers 
that sparkled as though wet with dew. Fried danced 
with them, but because his clothes were so poor, his 
partner took a wreath of flowers from the wall and placed 
it on his head. Very pretty it looked on his bright, brown 
hair but he could not see this, for the dwarfs have no 
looking-glasses. The bees buzzed and hummed like flutes 
and trombones, the grasshoppers chirped like fiddles. 

The dancing ended, Fried approached the King, who 



The Strawberry Thief. 213 

was resting on his green throne, and said : " My Lord 
King, be so good as to pay for my berries, and have 




"IT IS TIME I RETURNED TO MY MOTHER. 

me guided out of the mountain, for it is time I returned 
to my mother." 



214 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The King nodded his carbuncle crown, and wrapping 
his golden mantle around him, departed to fetch the 
money. How Fried rejoiced at the thought of taking 
that money home ! Being very tired, he mounted the 
throne, seated himself on the soft mushroom cushion 
from which the gnome-King had just risen, and, ere 
that monarch returned, Fried was sleeping sound as a 
dormouse. 

Day was dawning in the forest when he awoke. His 
limbs were stiff, and his bare feet icy cold. He rubbed 
his eyes and stretched himself. He still sat beneath 
the tree from whence, on the previous evening, he had 
seen the light moving. " Where am I ? " he muttered ; 
then he remembered falling asleep on the gnome- 
King's mushroom cushion. He also remembered the 
money he had been promised, and felt in his pockets 
they were empty. Yes, he remembered it all. This 
was the morning his mother should have gone to town, 
and he had neither berries nor money. Tears flowed from 
his eyes, and he reviled the dwarfs who had carried 
him sleeping from the mountain, and cheated him out 
of his money. Rising sorrowfully, he went to the moun- 
tain, but though he searched long and carefully, no 
opening could he find. 

There was nothing for it but to return home, and 
this he did with a heavy heart. No one was stirring 
when he reached the village. Gently he knocked on 
the shutter of the room where his mother slept. " Wake 
up, mother," he cried. " It is I, your Fried." 

Quickly the door of the little house opened. 

" Thank Heaven you have returned," said his mother, 



The Strawberry Thief. 215 

embracing him. " But has nothing happened to you all 
night alone in the forest ? " 

" Nothing, mother," he replied ; " I only had a foolish 
dream about the gnomes who dwell in the mountain." 

And whilst his mother lit the stove, Fried related 
his dream. She shook her head on hearing it, for she 
believed her boy had really seen and heard these wonderful 
things. 

Then Lorchen came in, and her mother told her to 
unfasten the shutters. The child obeyed, but on re- 
entering the room, she cried aloud, and placed her hands 
on her brother's head. 

Something heavy and sparkling fell to the ground. 
They picked it up. It was the wreath of many-coloured 
flowers Fried's partner had given him at the dance. But 
the flowers were not like those that grow in the fields 
and meadows : they were cold, and sparkling, like those 
that adorned the walls of the mountain hall, and which 
the gnome-maidens wore in their hair. 

It was now clear that Fried had really spent the night 
with the dwarfs. They all thought the flowers were 
only coloured glass; but as they sparkled so brilliantly, 
and filled the cottage with indescribable splendour, the 
mother determined to ask advice about them. She there- 
fore broke a tiny branch from the wreath and took it 
to the town to a goldsmith, who told her, to her great 
astonishment, that the branch was composed of the most 
costly gems, rubies, diamonds, and sapphires. In exchange 
for it, he gave her a sack of gold so heavy she could 
scarcely carry it home. 

Want was now at an end for ever, for the wreath 



216 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

was a hundred times more valuable than the tiny branch. 
Great excitement prevailed in the village when the 
widow's good fortune was made known, and all the 
villagers ran into the forest to search for the wonderful 
hole. But their searching was vain none ever found 
the entrance to the mountain. From henceforth the widow 
and her children lived very happily ; they remained pious 
and industrious in spite of their wealth, did good to 
the poor, and were contented to the end of their lives. 



The Adventures of Said. 




IN the time of Haroun Al-Raschid, ruler of Bagdad, 
there lived in Balsora a man Benezar by name. 
His means enabled him to live quietly and com- 
fortably, without carrying on a business or trade ; and 
when a son was born to him he made no change in his 
manner of living, " For," said he, " what will feed two will 
feed three." Said, for so they called the boy, soon made 
a name for himself among his playmates as a lusty 
fighter, and was surpassed by none in riding or swimming. 

When he was eighteen, his father sent him on a 
pilgrimage to Mecca, and before he started gave him 
much good advice, and provided him with money for 
his journey. Lastly he said : 

" There is something more I must tell you, my boy. 
I am not the man to believe that fairies and enchanters, 
whatever they may be, have any influence over the fate 



22o The Diamond Fairy Book. 

of mankind ; that sort of nonsense is only good for 
whiling away the time; but your mother believed in 
them as firmly as in the Koran. She even told me, 
after making me swear never to reveal the secret except 
to her child, that she herself was under the protection 
of a fairy. I always laughed at her, but still I must 
confess that some very strange events happened at your 
birth. It rained and thundered all day, and the heavens 
were black with clouds. 

" When they told me that I had a little son, I hastened 
to see and bless my first-born, but I found my wife's door 
shut, and all her attendants standing outside. I knocked, 
but with no result. While I was waiting there, the sky 
cleared just over Balsora, although the lightning still 
flashed and writhed round the blue expanse. As I was 
gazing in astonishment at this spectacle, your mother's 
door flew open and I went in alone. On entering the 
room, I perceived a delicious odour of roses, carnations, 
and hyacinths. Your mother Zemira showed me a 
tiny silver whistle, that was hanging round your neck 
by a gold chain as fine as silk. ' This is the fairy's gift 
to our boy,' she said. ' Well,' I laughed, ' I think she 
might have given him something better than that a 
purse of gold, for instance, or a horse.' 

" But Zemira begged me not to anger the good fairy, 
for fear she might turn her blessing to a curse ; so, to 
please her, the matter was never mentioned again till 
she was dying. Then she gave me the whistle, telling 
me never to part with you till you were twenty, when 
the whistle was to be yours. But I see no objection 
to your eoing away now. You have common sense, 



The Adventures of Said. 221 

and can defend yourself as well as any man of four-and- 
tvventy. Go in peace, my son. Think ever of your 
father in good fortune or in ill, and may Heaven defend 
you from that last." 

Said took an affectionate farewell of his father, and 
placing the chain round his neck, sprang lightly into 
his saddle, and went off to join the caravan for 
Mecca. At last they were all assembled, and Said 
rode gaily out of Balsora. Just at first the novelty of 
his position and surroundings occupied his thoughts, but 
as they drew near to the desert he began to consider 
his father's words. He drew out the whistle and put it 
to his lips, but wonder of wonders, no matter how hard 
he blew, not a sound came out ! This was disappointing, 
and Said impatiently thrust the whistle back into his 
girdle ; still the marvellous had a strange attraction for 
him, and he spent the whole day in building his airy 
castles. 

Said was a fine-looking fellow, with a distinguished 
face, and a bearing which, young as he was, marked him 
out as one born to command. Every one was attracted 
to him, and especially was this the case with an elderly 
man, who rode near him. They entered into conver- 
sation, and it was not long before the mysterious power 
of fairies was mentioned. 

"Do you believe in fairies?" asked Said, at last. 

"Well," replied the other, stroking his beard thought- 
fully, " 1 should not like to say that there are no such 
beings, although I have never seen one." And then he 
began to relate such wonderful stories, that Said felt 
that his mother's words must have been true, and when 



222 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

he went to sleep was transported to a veritable 
fairyland. 

The next day the travellers were dismayed to see a 
band of robbers swooping down on them. All was 
confusion in an instant, and they had scarcely had time 
to place the women and children in the centre, when the 
Arabs were upon them. Bravely as the men acquitted 
themselves, all was in vain, for the robbers were more 
than four hundred strong. At this dreadful moment 
Said bethought him of his whistle ; but, alas ! it remained 
dumb as before, and poor Said, dropping it hastily, fired 
on a man, who seemed from his dress to be of some 
importance. 

" What have you done ? " cried the old man, who 
was fighting at his side. There is no hope for us 
now." 

" And so, indeed, it seemed for the robbers, maddened 
by the death of the man, pressed so closely on the youth 
that they broke down even his sturdy resistance. The 
others were soon overcome or slain, and Said found 
himself on horseback, bound and guarded by armed men. 
These treated him with roughness, and the only drop of 
comfort in his cup was that his old friend was riding 
near. You may be sure his thoughts were not very 
pleasant slavery or death was all he had to look 
forward to. 

After riding for some time, they saw in the far distance 
trees and tents, and in a short time they were met by 
bands of women and children, who had no sooner heard 
the news than they began to throw sticks and clods of 
earth at Said, shrieking, " That is the man who killed 



The Adventures of Said. 223 

the great Almansor, bravest of men ; he must die, and 
we will throw his body to the jackals." 




AFTER SEVERAL HOURS HE AWOKE" (/>. 22$). 



They became so threatening that the bandits interfered 
and, bearing off their prisoner, led him bound into one 



224 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

of the tents. Here was seated an old man, evidently 
the leader of the band. His head was bent. 

"The weeping of the women has told me all 
Almansor is dead," said he. 

" Almansor is dead," answered the robbers, " O Mighty 
One of the Desert, but here is his murderer. Only 
speak the word. Shall his doom be to be shot, or to be 
hanged from the nearest tree ? " 

But the aged Selim questioned Said, and found that 
his son had been slain in fair fight. " He has done, 
then, no more than we ourselves should have done. 
Loose his bonds. The innocent shall not die," cried 
Selim, in his sternest tones, seeing his men's reluctance 
and discontent. As for Said, the very fulness of his 
heart closed his lips, and he could not find words in 
which to thank his deliverer. From this time he lived 
in Selim's tent, almost taking the place of that son 
whose death he had caused. 

But sedition was rife among the robbers. Their 
beloved Prince had been murdered, and his murderer was 
shielded by the father ! Many were the execrations hurled 
at Said, as he walked in the camp ; indeed, several 
attempts were made on his life. At length Selim per- 
ceived that soon even his influence would not be sufficient 
to guard the young man, and so he sent him away 
with an escort, saying that his ransom had been paid. 
But before they started he bound the robbers by a 
dreadful oath that they would not kill Said. 

It was indeed a terrible ride ! Said saw that his guides 
were performing their task with great reluctance, and soon 
they began to whisper together. He nerved himself to 



The Adventures of Said. 225 

listen, and what he heard did not tend to reassure 
him. 

" This is the very spot," said one. " I shall never 
forget it." 

" And to think that his murderer still lives ! " 

" Ah ! if his father had not made us take that 
oath ! " 

" Stay," cried the most forbidding-looking of all, 
"we have not sworn to bring this fellow to the end 
of his journey. We will leave him his life, but the 
scorching sun and the sharp teeth of the jackal shall 
perform our vengeance. Let us bind him and leave 
him here." 

Said, hearing this brutal suggestion, made a despeate 
effort for his life. Spurring his horse, he rode off at 
full speed ; but the bandits soon recovered from their 
amazement, and, giving chase, had him at their mercy. 
Tears, prayers, even bribes were of no avail, and the 
wretched Said was left to face death in its most painful 
form. Higher and higher mounted the sun, and Said 
tried to roll over to obtain some small relief. In doing 
this the whistle attracted his notice, and he contrived to 
get it between his lips ; but for the third time it refused 
its office, and Said, overcome by the heat and the 
horror of his situation, fainted. After several hours 
he awoke to see, not the dreaded beast of prey but a 
human being. 

This was a little man with small eyes and a long 
beard, who informed Said, when the latter had some- 
what recovered, that he was Kalum Bek, a merchant, 
and that he was on a business expedition when he 

IS 



226 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

found him lying half dead in the sand. Said thanked 
the little man, and gratefully accepted a seat on his 
camel. As they were journeying the merchant related 
many stories in praise of the justice and acuteness of 
the Father of the Faithful. 

" My cousin Messour," he said, " is his Lord 
Chamberlain, and he has often told me how the Caliph 
is wont to sally forth at night, attended by himself alone, 
to see how his people are cared for. And so, when we 
go about the streets at night, we have to be polite to 
every idiot we meet, for it is as likely to be the 
Caliph as some dog of an Arab from the desert. 

Hearing such accounts as these, Said thought himself 
a lucky fellow to have the chance of seeing Bagdad and 
the renowned Al-Raschid. When they arrived in the 
city, Kalum invited Said to accompany him home. The 
next day the youth had just dressed himself in his 
most magnificent clothes, thinking of the sensation he 
would cause, when the merchant entered, and, looking 
at him scornfully, said : " That is all very fine, my 
young sir, but it seems to me you are a great dreamer. 
Have you the money to keep up that style?" 

"It is true, sir," said Said, blushing, "that I have no 
money ; but perhaps you will be kind enough to lend me 
sufficient to travel home with, for my father is sure to 
repay you." 

" Your father, boy," laughed the merchant. " I really 
think the sun must have affected your brain. You 
don't suppose, do you, that I believe the fable you made 
up for my benefit? I know all the rich men in Balsora, 
but no Benezar. Besides, do you think the disappearance 



The Adventures of Said. 227 

of a whole caravan would pass unnoticed ? And then, 
you bare-faced liar, that story about Selim ! Why, that, 
man is noted for his cruelty ; and do you mean to tell 
me that he allowed the murderer of his son to go free 
and that, too, without ransom ? Oh, you shameless 
liar I " 

" Indeed, I have spoken the truth," cried Said. " I have 
no proof of my words, and can only swear to you that 
I have spoken no falsehood. If you will not help me 
then I must appeal to the Caliph." 

" Really ! " scoffed the little man ; " you will beg, then, 
from no less exalted a person than our gracious ruler ! 
Just consider that the Caliph can only be approached 
through my cousin Messour, and that with a word I 

could But I pity your youth. You are not too old 

yet for reformation. You shall serve in my shop for a 
year, and then, if you wish to leave me, I will pay you 
your wages, and let you go whither you will. I give 
you till mid-day to think over it. If you refuse, I will 
seize your clothes and possessions to pay myself for your 
passage, and throw you on the streets." 

Said was indeed in difficulties ; bad luck seemed to 
press upon him at every turn. There was no escaping 
from the room, for the windows were barred and the 
door locked. After cudgelling his brains for some time, 
he saw that he must submit to the indignity imposed upon 
him by the villainous little man, and so the next day 
he followed him to the shop in the bazaar. His duty 
was to stand (his gallant attire a thing of the past) in 
the doorway, a veil or a shawl in either hand, and cry 
his wares to the passers-by. 



228 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Said soon saw why Kalum had been so anxious to 
retain him as a servant. No one wished to do business 
with the hateful old man, but when the salesman was 
a handsome youth it was a different matter altogether. 
One especially busy day all the porters were employed, 
when an elderly lady entered and made some pur- 
chases. After she had bought all she wanted she 
demanded some one to carry her parcels home for her. 
In vain did the merchant promise to send them in half 
an hour she would have them then or never; and her 
eye falling on Said, she wanted to know why he should 
not accompany her. After much remonstrance Kalum 
had to give in, and Said found himself following in the 
wake of the lady, who stopped at last before a magnifi- 
cent house. She knocked and they were admitted, 
and after mounting a wide marble staircase, Said found 
himself in a lofty hall, far grander than he had ever seen 
before. Here he was relieved of his burden, and was 
just going out at the door, when 

"Said," cried a sweet voice behind him. He turned 
round quickly, and saw to his amazement a daintily 
beautiful lady surrounded by attendants, instead of the 
old lady he had followed. 

"Said, my dear boy," she said, "it is a great 
misfortune that you left Balsora before you were twenty ; 
but here in Bagdad there is some chance for you. Have 
you still your little whistle?" 

" Indeed I have," he cried gladly ; " perhaps you are 
the kindly fairy who befriended my mother ? " 

"Yes, and as long as you are good I will help you. 
But, alas 1 I cannot even deliver you from that wretch, 



The Adventures of Said. 229 




"A DAINTILY BEAUTIFUL LADY" (/. 22&). 



230 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Kalum Bek, for he is protected by your most powerful 
enemy." 

"But can we do nothing? Can I not go to the 
Caliph? He is a just man and will help me." 

"Haroun is indeed just, but he is greatly influenced 
by Messour, who, a model of uprightness himself, has 
been already primed by Kalum with his version of your 
story. But there are other ways of getting at the 
Caliph, and it is written in the stars that you will 
obtain his favour." 

" I am to be pitied if I have to stay much longer 
with that rascal of a shopkeeper. But there is , one 
favour I beg of you, most gracious of fairies. Jousts are 
held every week, but only for the freeborn. Couldn't 
you manage to give me equipments, and make my face 
so that no one would know me?" 

" That is a wish worthy of a brave man, and I will 
grant it. Come here each week, and you will find every- 
thing you want. And now, farewell. Be cautious and 
virtuous. In six months your whistle will sound, and 
Zulima will answer its appeal" 

Said took leave of his protectress, and, taking note 
of the position of the house, made his way back to the 
shop. He arrived there in the very nick of time, for 
Kalum was surrounded by a crowd of jeering neighbours, 
and was literally dancing with rage. This was what had 
happened. Two men had asked the merchant if he could 
direct them to the shop of the handsome salesman. 

" Well ! well ! " said the old man, smiling, " Heaven 
has guided you to the right place this time. What do 
you want, a shawl or a veil ? " 



The Adventures of Said. 231 

This to the men seemed nothing short of insolence, 
and they fell upon him tooth and nail, the neighbours 
refusing to help the old skinflint. But Said, seeing his 
master in such distress, strode to the rescue, and one of 
the assailants soon found himself on the ground. Under 
the influence of his flashing eyes the crowd soon melted 
away, for violence on the wrong side was not to their 
taste. 

" Oh, you prince of shopmen, that is what I call inter- 
fering to some purpose! Didn't he lie on the ground 
as if he had never used his legs? I should have lost 
my beard for ever if you had not come up. How shall 
I reward you?" 

Said had only acted upon the impulse of the moment ; 
indeed, he now felt rather sorry that he had deprived 
the scoundrel of a well-deserved thrashing. He seized 
the opportunity, however, and asked for an evening a 
week in which to take a walk. This was granted him, 
and the next Wednesday he set out for the fairy's house. 
Here he found everything as Zulima had promised. 
First the servants gave him a wash, which changed him 
from a stripling to a black-bearded man, whose face 
was bronzed by exposure to the sun. Then he was 
led into a second room, where he saw a dress that would 
not have been put to shame by the State robes of the 
Caliph. He hastily donned this, and, magnificently 
equipped, descended the stairs. As he reached the door, 
a servant handed him a silk handkerchief with which to 
wipe his face when he wished to rid himself of his dis- 
guise. In the court were standing three horses ; two 
were ridden by squires, but the most maenificent was 



232 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

for his own use. When Said arrived on the plain set 
apart for the jousts, all eyes turned on him, and curiosity 
was rife as to who the unknown knight could be ; that 
he was distinguished and of high family none doubted. 

When Said entered the lists he gave his name as 
Almansor of Cairo, and said that he had come to Bagdad 
because of the fame of the youths of that city. The 
sides were chosen, and the opposing parties charged. 
Said's horse was as swift as an eagle, and his prowess 
with the sword was so great that even the bravest 
shunned meeting him, and the Caliph's brother, who 
had been on his side, challenged him to single combat. 
The two fought, but were so equal that the contest had 
to be postponed till the next meeting. On the following 
day all Bagdad was ringing with the praises of the 
gallant young knight; and little did the people guess 
that he was then serving in a shop in the bazaar. 

At the next tournament Said carried all before him, 
and received from the Caliph a golden medallion hanging 
from a gold chain. This aroused the envy of the other 
youths. Was a stranger to come to Bagdad and rob 
them of their honour? Said noticed the signs of dis- 
content, and observed that all viewed him askance, 
except the brother and son of the Caliph. By a strange 
chance the one most bitter against him was the man he 
had knocked down before Kalum Bek's shop. Led by 
this man, the others made a sudden attack on Said, who 
must have fallen if the Royal combatants had not rushed 
to his aid. 

For more than four months he continued to fight in 
the lists, but one night as he was going home he noticed 



The Adventures of Said. 233 

four men who were walking slowly before him. To his 
astonishment, he found they were speaking in the dialect 
used by Selim's band. He suspected that they were 




after no good, and so he crept nearer to hear what they 
were saying. 

" He will be in the street to the right of the bazaar 
to-night, attended by the Grand Vizier," said one. 

"That is good," answered the other; "there is no 



234 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

fear of the Grand Vizier, but I am not so sure of the 
Caliph there might be some of his guard near." 

" No, there won't," broke in a third ; " he is always 
alone at night." 

" I think it would be best to throw a lasso over his 
head," said the first. 

" Very well, an hour after midnight " ; and with these 
words they separated. 

" Well, I have discovered a pretty plot," thought Said, 
and his first idea was to go at once to the Caliph ; but 
he remembered how Kalum had maligned him to 
Messour, and stopped. No, the only way was for him 
to defend the Caliph in person. Accordingly, when night 
came on, he betook himself to the appointed street, and 
waited to see what was going to happen. Soon the 
men came and concealed themselves in different parts 
of the street. All was quiet for half an hour, and at 
the end of that time one of the robbers gave a sign, 
for the Caliph was in sight. With one accord the band 
rushed upon him, but Said rose from his hiding-place, 
and laid about him with such hearty goodwill that they 
were soon glad to take to their heels with all speed. 

" My rescue," said the Caliph, " is no less wonderful 
than the attack made upon me. How did you know 
who I was? How did you get to know of the plot?" 

Said then told how he had followed the men, and, 
hearing their plans, determined to frustrate their villainous 
intention. 

" Receive my thanks," said the Caliph, " and accept 
this ring. Present it to-morrow at the palace, and we 
will see what can be done for you." 



The Adventures of Said. 235 

The Vizier, too, gave him a ring, together with a heavy 
purse. 

Mad with joy, Said hurried home, but here Kalum 
was awaiting him, anxious lest he should have lost his 
handsome servant. The little man raved at Said, but 
the latter had seen that his purse was full of money, 
and told him flatly that he would stay there no longer. 
He strode out at the door, leaving Kalum staring after 
him in open-mouthed astonishment. The next morning 
the merchant set the police on his track, and they 
brought him word that his quondam servant, dressed 
in a most magnificent fashion, was just setting out with 
a caravan. 

" He has stolen money from me, the thief ! " Kalum 
shrieked, and ordered the constable to arrest Said. As 
Kalum was known to be related to Messour, his commands 
were promptly attended to, and poor Said found him- 
self condemned, unheard, as having stolen the purse 
from his master. He was sentenced to life-long banish- 
ment on a desert island, and all his protestations of 
innocence were of no avail. The poor fellow was in 
despair, and even the stony-hearted merchant put in a 
plea for him. He was thrown into a filthy dungeon, 
together with nineteen others. He comforted himself 
with the thought that his life would be more endurable 
on board ship, but here he was mistaken. The atmo- 
sphere was foul, and the men fought like wild beasts 
for the best places. Food and water were handed out 
to them once a day, and at the same time the men 
who had died were hauled out 

A fortnight was passed in this misery, but one day 



236 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

they felt the ship was tossing more than usual, and their 
discomfort was increased. At last the survivors burst 
the hatches open, but to their despair they saw that 
the ship had been deserted by all the crew. The storm 
raged even more wildly, the ship rocked and settled 
deeper into the water. At last it went to pieces, and 
Said managed to cling to the mast. After he had floated 
for about half an hour, he suddenly remembered his 
whistle. It still hung round his neck, and holding on 
well with one hand to the mast, he put it to his mouth, 
and this time it did not fail him. At the sound of the 
clear, sweet note, the storm ceased as if by magic, and 
the sea became like glass, and, what was more wonderful 
still, the mast by which Said was supported was changed 
into a huge dolphin, to his no small terror. But he soon 
found there was no need for him to be afraid, for the 
fish bore him as swiftly as an arrow through the water. 
After some time Said, remembering tales of enchanters, 
drew out his whistle, and blowing a shrill blast, wished 
for a meal. At once a table rose from the depths of 
the sea, and Said enjoyed the much-needed refreshment. 
The sun was just sinking, when he saw a large town 
in the distance which reminded him of Bagdad. The 
thought of Bagdad was not so very pleasant, but still 
he trusted that the fairy, who had guarded him so far, 
would not let him fall into the hands of Kalum Bek. 
As he drew nearer he noticed a large house on the bank 
of the river, the roof of which was crowded with men, 
who were all gazing in astonishment at himself. No 
sooner had Said set foot on the land, than the fish 
vanished, and at the same time the serv^ts appeared 



The Adventures of Said. 237 

to lead him before their master. On the roof were 
standing three men, who questioned him in a friendly 
way. Said at once began to relate his story, from the 




"A TABLE ROSE FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA*' (/>. 236). 

time when he left Balsora, and his listeners declared 
that they believed him ; still, they asked if he could 
produce the golden chain and the rings of which he had 
spoken. 



238 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

11 Here they are," said Said. " I determined not to 
part with them while I had life to defend them." 

" By the beard of the Prophet, this is my ring, Grand 
Vizier our deliverer stands before us ! " 

Said was overcome by finding in whose presence 
he was, and flung himself at the Caliph's feet. But 
Haroun raised him, and overwhelmed him with praise 
and thanks. Nothing would do but that Said must 
return with them to the palace, where they would 
conceive some plan to bring the merchant Kalum to 
book. On the next day Kalum himself begged for 
admittance to the presence of Haroun. A dispute had 
arisen between himself and a man of Balsora, and he 
asked for judgment. 

" I will hear him," said the Caliph. " Said," turning 
to the youth as the servant left the room, " this is no 
other than your father. Do you hide behind that curtain, 
and you, Grand Vizier, fetch the magistrate who con- 
demned Said." 

In a short time Kalum entered, accompanied by 
Benezar, and, after the Caliph had mounted his throne, 
began his complaint. 

" I was standing at my door a few days ago, when 
this man Benezar came down the street, offering a purse 
of gold for news of Said. I at once claimed the money, 
and told him how his son, for so I found him to be, 
had suffered the penalty for stealing a purse from 
me. Then the madman demanded his money back, 
and wanted to make me responsible for his rascal of 
a son." 

"Bring the magistrate who condemned the youth," 



The Adventures of Said. 239 

commanded Haroun. He was produced as if by magic. 
After much questioning, the justice confessed that 
no witness had been brought forward except the 
purse. 

" Why," shouted the Grand Vizier, " that is my purse, 
you scoundrel ; and I gave it to the gallant youth who 
saved me." 

" Then," thundered the Caliph, " you swore falsely, 
Kalum Bek. What was done to Said?" 

" I sent him to a desert island," stammered the magis- 
trate. 

" Oh, Said, my son, my son 1 " wept the unhappy 
father. 

"Stand forth, Said," said the Caliph. 

Confronted by this apparition, Kalum and the justice 
flung themselves on their knees, crying, " Mercy ! " 
mercy ! " 

"Did you have mercy on the misfortunes of this 
unhappy boy ? You, my best of judges, shall retire to 
a desert island, so that you may have an opportunity of 
studying justice. But, Kalum Bek, what am I to say 
to you? You shall pay Said for all the time he has 
served you, and," as Kalum was beginning to congratulate 
himself on coming so well out of the business, " for the 
perjury you shall receive a hundred strokes on the soles 
of your feet. Take the men away and carry out their 
sentence." 

The wretched beings were led away, and the Caliph 
took Said and his father into another apartment. Here 
their conversation was interrupted by the yells of Kalum, 
who was undergoing punishment in the court outside. 



240 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The Caliph invited Benezar to bring his goods 
and settle in Bagdad. He gladly consented, and 
Said spent his life in the palace built for him by the 
grateful Caliph indeed, the proverb ran in Bagdad, 
"May I be as good and fortunate as Said, the son of 
Benezar." 



Little Blue Flower. 



ifl 




A STORK swept high over the Bohemian forest. 
It was a most important duty that had brought 
him from his own marshes into this mountainous 
region, where far and wide no croak of frog could be 
heard. In his beak he carried two little children, a boy 
and a girl, both intended for the knight who dwelt in 
the gloomy fortress below. Smaller and smaller grew 
the circles made by the stork in his flight. Lower and 
lower he sank towards the earth, until at length he rested 
on the highest chimney of the castle. 

But before letting the children slip down the narrow 
black hole he paused and looked carefully around. While 
in the air, this old castle, with its round turrets glittering 
in the rising sun, had appeared to him a most stately 
edifice. But now, when quite close, the stork discovered 
many things that did not please him. The walls were 
sadly out of repair, there were holes in the roof, whilst 
the courtyard was overgrown with weeds. 

I do not like this," said the stork, looking thought- 



244 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

fully down his long, red beak. " This place seems to 
have a very bad landlord. A knight who cannot keep 
his castle in proper repair certainly does not deserve two 
children. I will take one away with me. 

" Which should he have now, the boy or the girl ? " 
thought the stork. He looked once more thoughtfully 
down his long beak, and on the two children smiling 
happily in their dreams. " I think I will give him the 
boy," he said at length. " He will push his way in this 
wretched place better than the girl." With these words 
he made a movement to throw the little boy down the 
chimney. 

This, however, was not so easy as the stork had thought. 
In their sleep the little ones had embraced each other, and 
would not let go. " I have never had two such obstinate 
little creatures in my beak before," exclaimed the stork 
angrily. Then he began to shake them, at first gently, 
then harder, and at last so roughly that the children half 
awoke from their dreams, and looked at each other with 
blinking eyes. After this the boy would not let go his 
companion, and no wonder, for the little girl had shown 
him a pair of blue eyes of such wondrous beauty, that 
there were not many like them in the world. But the 
stork, now thoroughly angry, gave the poor little fellow a 
kick that sent him head first down the castle chimney. 

"Now, what shall I do with the other little thing?" 
said the stork thoughtfully, scratching the back of his 
ear. " Ah ! I have it," he cried the little girl had kept 
on blinking her eyes, and the stork had also seen their 
beautiful blue " I have it 1 " he repeated. " Such eyes 
can only belong to Norway." 



Little Blue Flower. 245 

High overhead soared the stork. Powerfully his wings 
clove the air as he sailed away towards the north. 

In the midst of the blue Baltic Sea a little wooded 
island lay sparkling like a green jewel. Here dwelt Bjorn, 
a grim old sea-king of Norwegian blood. Every year he 
and his men ploughed the sea with their swift ships, 
and very rich was the spoil he brought home to his 
strong castle that stood in the centre of the island, 
defended by wall and moat 

To this castle the stork bore the little maiden on his 
strong wings. 

Bjorn and his men were sitting in the spacious hall, 
quaffing from golden cups the sweet wine they had 
brought back in their ships from the sunny land of 
Greece. Very wild was their joy when the little maiden 
came down the chimney, and throughout the whole 
night their boisterous songs could be heard far across 
the wide sea. 

And the little, sparkling waves sang in reply a rushing 
murmuring song, to celebrate the arrival of the young 
child. " To our sea-king a little daughter has been 
born," they sang. " A beauteous little maiden, with eyes 
blue as the sea, locks fair as the sea foam, and lips rosy 
as the morning red when it gilds the crests of the waves." 
Even the stupid fishes rejoiced, but as they could not, 
sing they leapt into the air, high up out of the waves, 
and their scales glittered in the moonlight like gold and 
silver. 

Many days and many nights Bjorn and his crew drank 
of the pearly wine. Then he could rest at home no 
longer, so ordered his ships and sailed away, leaving 



246 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the child, to whom he had given the name of Swanhild, 
in charge of a faithful nurse. 

On this voyage Bjorn encountered more storms and 
enemies than he had ever done before. Often, whilst 
on the tossing billows, he thought with longing of the 
little one at home. Yet many long years passed ere he 
could at length return home laden with rich spoil. 

As he set foot on the little island he was greeted by 
a beautiful maiden, with deep blue eyes, rosy lips, and 
the fair hair of Norway. Full of joy, Bjorn clasped his 
lovely child to his heart Then he sat with his men in the 
castle hall, feasting and quaffing the costly Grecian wine. 

Swanhild had never before seen such noisy feasts. 
Often, on moonlight nights, she would leave the castle 
and wander alone on the sea-shore. 

But one evening, as she thus wandered, clad in her 
white garments, and with her fair head bent towards 
the waves, she was seen by a wicked magician, who 
had flown thither through the air on a black goat He 
came from the cliffs of Norway, where he had been sent 
to seize the soul of a poor Laplander who had stolen his 
neighbour's reindeer, and he was now travelling to Blocks- 
berg to take this soul to his master, a powerful evil spirit. 

When the magician saw Swanhild he was much de- 
lighted. He had never before beheld any one so lovely. 
But alas! while he was lost in contemplation of her 
beauty the soul of the little Laplander escaped, and flew 
away. He let it go. Seeking a secluded spot, he at 
once summoned a number of crabs and water-beetles, 
which he placed in three shining mussel-shells. One 
touch of his staff changed these shells filled with crabs 



Little Blue Flowerr 247 




1 WHEN THE MAGICIAN SAW SWANHILD HE WAS MUCH 

DELIGHTED" (/>. 246> 



248 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

and water-beetles into magnificent vessels full of well- 
armed men. His black goat became a skald, and played 
the harp. Then transforming himself into a handsome 
young Viking, he ordered the sails to be hoisted, and 
rounding a wooded promontory, sailed into the bay where 
Bjorn's vessel lay. 

Loudly the sentries on Bjorn's ship blew their horns. 
Louder yet rang out the answering blast from the castle. 
Wildly Bjorn and his men broke through the forest. 
Furious was their war-cry, shrilly clanged their weapons. 

The strange Viking stepped forward boldly, and ex- 
tending his hand to Bjorn in token of friendship, besought 
hospitality for himself and his men. 

Bjorn let himself be persuaded. He led the strangers 
into his splendid halls, and drank and feasted with them 
many days and many nights. Then the strange hero 
ordered rich presents to be brought from his ships : 
garments studded with gold, gold ornaments, and shining 
swords. This completely deceived Bjorn and his followers, 
and when the stranger asked for Swanhild in marriage, 
the Viking readily gave his consent. That Swanhild 
turned pale no one heeded. Nor did they heed that she 
wept nightly in the solitude of her chamber. 

The marriage day at length arrived. But when every- 
thing was ready, and Swanhild, in glittering array, was 
being led towards the stranger, she, with a quick move- 
ment, turned her back on him and fled to her chamber. 

Loudly raged the father, his eyes glowing with fury. 
But wilder still rolled the eyes of the stranger. He broke 
into a laugh, and cried, with mocking voice, "You shall 
all pay for this," 



Little Blue Flower. 249 

One look from those fierce eyes, and his men became 
a crowd of crabs and water-beetles. The skald threw 
away his harp, and stood there a black goat with fiery 
eyes. The stranger shook off his armour, and was a 
horrible old man. 

Bjorn grew pale with terror, his followers began to 
tremble and shake. Another look from the magician : 
they all shrank together, and a crawling mass of frogs 
covered the floor. Bjorn was the largest of them all. 
Then opening door and gate, the magician drove them 
out into the marshy moat. Here they dived. 

The magician then locked the door and threw the 
key into the moat At her chamber windows Swanhild 
sat weeping. He looked up at her furiously, but she 
was so good and pure, his glance had no power over 
her. He shook his fist threateningly. 

"Now sit there all alone," he cried, "since you will 
not marry me. You cannot escape, and no one can 
deliver you, for my goat keeps guard." 

He flew away whistling. The black goat walked round 
and round the moat, his eyes gleaming like living coals. 
The frogs croaked in the evening light, and above, in 
her chamber, Swanhild wept solitary and forsaken. 

In the meantime, the boy left by the stork at the 
gloomy castle in the Bohemian forest had become a 
valiant knight, who knew well how to use his sword. Yet 
so strange a knight as he had never before sat in Walnut- 
tree Castle. This was the name of his ancestral home. 

Since his father's death Wulf had lived quite alone 
in the ruined castle, for none of the servants would stay 
after the old knight died. But this did not trouble 



250 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Wulf. He did not care to hunt the wild boar through 
the thicket, or kill the frightened stag. His chief pleasure 
was to stretch himself on the thick, soft moss, and gaze 
through the green branches of the forest trees at the 
blue heavens that smiled here and there in little flocks 
through the thick foliage. He also loved to seek for 
forest flowers the blue were his favourites. Whence 
this preference he knew not, but he dreamt he had once 
looked into Swanhild's blue eyes. Or, when tired of 
these things, he would stand at one of the castle 
windows, gazing thoughtfully out into the blue distance. 
" Far away yonder," so ran his thoughts at these times, 
"where the blue heaven bends down to touch the earth, 
should I not find happiness there? Were it not better 
to journey abroad in search of happiness than to remain 
alone in this solitary castle, through whose walls the 
wind whistles, whilst owls and bats are now the only 
occupants of its once stately halls ? " 

But though longing to go out into the world, Wulf 
remained in the ruined castle, in obedience to an old 
command of one of his ancestors. 

In the middle of the castle court there grew in the 
cleft of a rock a gigantic walnut tree. From it the 
the castle had received its name. The nut from which 
this tree had sprung had been planted in olden times by 
one of Wulf's ancestors, who at the same time had 
carved these words on the rock : 

Where flourishes this tree, there shall my house remain. 
While it stands, forsake it not to search abroad for fame ; 
But should the ancient glory from these halls e'er disappear, 
Life from this tree shall make it shine once more quite bright and 
clear. 



Little Blue Flower. 



251 



Their splendour had long since disappeared, and how 
the tree could restore it Wulf could not imagine ; still, 
he remained obedient to the command. 




"A CRAWLING MASS OF FROGS COVERED THE FLOOR" (/. 249). 

One evening a mighty storm arose. Black clouds 
obscured the sky. The lightning flashed ; the thunder 
rolled. The storm raged through the forest. The 
mouldering stones of the old castle slipped from their 



252 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

places, and the wind whistled through the gaps, and 
raged through the old rooms and passages. Then a flash 
of lightning ! a clap of thunder ! The castle was in ruins ! 
Wulf escaped into the open air; before him lay the 
walnut tree, shivered by the lightning. 

He immediately saddled his horse. What need to 
remain here longer? Hastily snatching a few ripe nuts 
that lay among the shattered branches, he concealed them 
in his doublet as a remembrance, and then rode away 
through the gloomy forest. 

Far and wide, Wulf wandered over the green earth 
beneath the blue heavens, encountering many enemies. 
But in spite of all he kept courageously on his way. 

One day his path led through a thick forest of beech 
trees. He looked around thoughtfully as his horse 
scattered the fallen leaves at every step. Suddenly he 
looked up. What was it that shimmered so blue through 
the trees? Wulf urged his horse forward, but beneath 
a giant beech at the edge of the forest he halted ; the 
endless sea lay before him. 

Here is blue heaven above and beneath, surely I shall 
find happiness here ? " thought Wulf, as he swung himself 
to earth. Without a thought he left his horse, and 
hastened to the shore. On the soft waves a small bark 
was rocking. Wulf sprang in and loosed the chain. 
Lightly the waves bore the boat out into the blue 
distance. 

For a long time Wulf lay contentedly in the bottom 
of the boat He felt as though he were a little child 
folded into his mother's arms, safe from all want and 
danger. And he thought the waves wished to tell him 



Little Blue Flower. 253 

something, but he could not understand their language. 
Yet he saw that they bore his bark ever more swiftly 
forward, and he rejoiced at the increasing speed. 

There was a grating sound under the keel : Wulf had 
reached land at last. Before him lay a wooded island. 
Above the tops of the trees rose the turrets of a stately 
castle. He hastened forward and arrived at the castle 
moat. An unearthly stillness reigned over all around. 
Nothing moved save a swarm of frogs. These swam 
round and round in the moat, or sat on the leaves of 
the water-lilies, and croaked in what seemed to Wulf 
most sorrowful tones. But the largest amongst them 
behaved in a most extraordinary manner. He was for 
ever trying to climb up the castle wall, but if after much 
trouble he managed to get up a little way, he always 
fell back again. Then he would seat himself on a water- 
lily, look upwards, and wipe his eyes as though he were 
weeping. 

Wulf also looked up. 

" Happiness at last ! " he exclaimed. " The blue eyes ! ' 
But he got no further. A violent push from an angry 
goat sent him flying into the middle of the moat. 

Wulf felt himself sinking fast. His feet got entangled 
among the twisted roots of the water-lilies. With great 
difficulty he managed to keep his head above the water. 

" And here I must die," said he in anguish. 

Then from out his doublet sounded soft little voices : 

" The blessing of Urahn to you is near. 
Do not despair, for help is present here." 

And behold ! all around him now began a wonderful 
rustling and moving. He groped about with his hands, 



254 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

and felt that tender little roots had forced their way 
through his doublet and were taking root in the slime. 
And all around him he saw little green walnut-tree leaves 
rising out of the water. Twigs followed the leaves, and 
these again became branches. Wulf felt he was being 
forced upwards ; soon he was safely out of the water. 
Looking up, he saw Swanhild's blue eyes. He stretched 
out his arms towards her and she smiled. 

Higher and higher Wulf was borne. Five strong 
walnut trees grew beneath him, and bore him up on 
their branches. Now he could reach up and touch 
Swanhild's hands. Now he sat by her at the window, 
and gazed into her blue eyes. 

" What is your name ? " he asked. 

" Swanhild," she replied. 

" It is a very beautiful name," said Wulf. " But for 
my sake you must now be called Little Blue Flower. 
When I was quite a child I saw your eyes in my dreams. 
They appeared to me like little blue flowers, and every 
day I searched for these flowers in the forest, but they 
were never sufficiently beautiful. Now you shall be my 
Little Blue Flower." And -then he gave her a kiss. 

But now a fresh movement began in the moat below. 
The stout frog was able to scramble up the crooked, 
rough stems of the walnut tree, better than up the smooth 
castle wall. Boldly he climbed, and the whole army of 
frogs followed him. At length he reached the top. 
Swanhild gently laid her hand on his head, and instead 
of the frog old Bjorn sat on one of the branches of the 
walnut tree, and embraced and kissed both his daughter 
and Wulf. Then the other frogs came, and Swanhild 




Xo\v he could reach up and touch Swanhild's ham 



Little Blue Flower. 255 




SOON ALL BJORN'S FOLLOWERS WERE SITTING ON THE 
BRANCHES " (/. 256). 



256 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

laid her hand on them all. Soon all Bjorn's followers 
were sitting in crowds on the branches, dangling their 
legs for joy. Full of anger, the black goat ran round 
and round the castle moat, rolling his great fiery eyes. 

Just as the last frog was changed, a mighty rushing 
noise was heard. The magician flew raging through 
the air. With his magic staff he struck the poor goat 
a fierce blow, and then rode back on him to Blocksberg. 
Here it went very badly with him, because he came 
without the soul of the little Laplander, and he was 
severely punished. 

Bjorn, with Wulf and all his men, joyfully entered the 
castle through Swanhild's window. A few days later 
Swanhild's marriage with Wulf was celebrated with great 
splendour, and they lived together in peace and happiness 
to the end of their days. 



"The Princess Who Despised all Men." 




JSg Gbarfes Smitb Cbeltnam. 

THERE was once a King and Queen who, having 
everything a King and Queen could reasonably 
desire, might have been as happy as the day 
was long if they had only taken the right means for 
making the best of their good fortune. 

The King was a pattern of amiability, and, as to 
wisdom, could have held his own in comparison with 
any crowned potentate on earth; but of the Queen not 
half as much could be said in praise. As a girl, her 
beauty had been renowned, and had brought to her 
Princes by the score as wooers ; but to their suits she 
had, as the phrase is, turned a deaf ear, regarding men 
as creatures made wholly of ill qualities, and marriage 
with them a debasement of herself in every sense ; and 



260 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

it was not until her father threatened to imprison her 
for the rest of her life in a town built of steel and 
adamant, that she could be induced to accept a husband. 

The amiability of her spouse was often sorely tried 
by her constant disparagement of men ; but, being founded 
upon exceptional goodness of character, he did not allow 
it to be overcome, and schooled himself to bear with her 
fantastic ideas, rewarding himself for his leniency by 
sometimes laughing in his sleeve at the more preposterous 
of her pretensions. 

A great many years passed without their having any 
family until, one day, the Queen had a baby girl, and 
consoled herself by reflecting that that, at least, was 
better than having a boy, " to grow up into a horrid 
man," as she expressed herself. 

It happened that, at the moment of the little Princess's 
birth, the fairy Gaieia was passing the palace, and, as 
she had no particularly pressing business on hand, slipped 
in, and, after congratulating the Queen on the beauty 
of her offspring, constituted herself the infant's god- 
mother as was the fairy custom at that period at the 
same time laughingly predicting that she would prove 
to be "the joy of her parents." 

It hardly needs to be recorded that, with her very 
peculiar views as to what a woman's conduct in life 
ought to be, the Queen did not permit her daughter to 
receive instruction of any kind from anybody but herself ; 
the King, consequently, rarely saw his child, and knew 
nothing of the character which had been made for her 
by her mother, rather than allowed to come to her and 
develop itself in the natural order of things. 



Princess Who Despised Men. 261 

In this way the Princess Disdainana so her mother 
had insisted on naming her was brought up until she 
had reached her seventeenth year. If the youthful beauty 
of her mother had been renowned, that of the Princess 
was celebrated far and near as being nothing less than 
marvellous, and a. hundred of the richest and handsomest 
Kings and Princes in the world vied with each other 
in their endeavours to obtain her hand; but to not one 
of them would she deign to listen even for a moment, 
regarding all men as a sort of natural excrescence, whose 
only fitting place in the world was in companionship 
with the horses and dogs, or, at most, as ugly and 
repulsive creatures necessary for the performance of the 
most unpleasant labours. It was on this account that 
she had become universally known as " The Princess Who 
Despised All Men." 

This state of things became, at last, a cause of ex- 
treme uneasiness to the King. By the time she had 
arrived at a marriageable age, the fact that he, too, 
was year by year growing older began to recur to 
his mind with disquieting persistency ; for, having no 
son to succeed him, he saw that, if his daughter's dis- 
inclination to marry were maintained, his dynasty was 
in danger of coming to an end and that is a prospect 
which no King can be expected to contemplate with 
equanimity. 

One day, therefore, when the subject was worrying him 
very much, he sent for his wife and daughter and ex- 
plained to them the extreme discomforts of the situation 
which had been brought about by the obduracy of the 
Princess. 



262 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

"My daughter, I am happy to say, knows her duty 
to herself," replied the Queen proudly. 

The King was about to retort, "But she does not 
appear to know anything whatever about her duty to 
her father " ; but, as it was a rule of conduct with him 
never to use that form of contradiction in any discussion 
he had with his wife, he held his peace. 

" Rather than become the wife of an ugly, coarse, 
bearded man, I would die a hundred deaths!" cried 
the Princess vehemently. 

As the last syllable left her lips, a gay laugh rippled 
through the air of the room. 

"May I ask what you find to laugh at in what my 
daughter has said ? " demanded the Queen of her husband, 
indignantly. 

" Nothing whatever, my dear and, consequently, I did 
not laugh," replied the King mildly. 

" What ! Perhaps you will say that it was / who 
uttered that insolent sound ? " cried the Queen. 

"Now I come to recall the fact, I don't think I ever 
heard you laugh, my dear ; but I am sure the voice that 
laughed a moment ago was not in the least like yours," 
said the King. 

" It was more like my daughter's, perhaps you will 
say?" remarked the Queen sarcastically. 

" Not in the least I should imagine, for I never had 
the advantage of hearing her laugh any more than your- 
self," replied the King. 

Again the gay sound of a musical voice, laughing 
lightly, rang through the room. 

" Oh ! This is too insulting ! " cried the Queen. " Come 



Princess Who Despised Men. 263 

with me, my love out of such an unendurable atmosphere 
of coarseness." 

And, without deigning to listen to a word of remon- 
strance from the King, she hurried the Princess back to 




"SHE HURRIED THE PRINCESS BACK TO HER OWN APARTMENT." 

her own apartment followed by another silvery peal 
of laughter. 

The King was equally puzzled and vexed by the abrupt 
termination of what he had hoped would have been a 
conference resulting in relief to himself from pressing 
anxieties. Now knowing his wife's absolute and un- 
yielding temper, and the complete control she exercised 



264 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

over her daughter he saw no way but one (that of 
using his extreme parental authority) to bring the Princess 
to obedience; but that measure he was too kind-hearted 
to resolve upon applying. 

In the utmost perplexity of mind he had paced his 
study for several minutes, without noticing that he was 
grasping in his right hand a scroll of parchment. On 
becoming aware of this fact, he stopped suddenly and 
gazed on the document with bewildered astonishment. 
It was absolutely certain that he had never seen it before, 
that it was not in his hand when the Queen and Princess 
quitted his presence, and that nobody else had entered 
the room. 

While he was thinking of all this, the gay laugh, 
which had been heard three times before, rang through 
the study again, only more gaily than ever for a moment 
angering the King, though he was one of the most 
placable of Sovereigns, and causing him to ferret in 
every possible hiding-place in his study in search of the 
daring jester. But not a trace of an intruder was dis- 
coverable. When he had perfectly assured himself of this, 
he unfolded the mysteriously conveyed parchment. 

The opening words of the document caused him to 
turn pale, and the sight of the signature at the end of 
it sent a thrill of terror through his frame. It was 
nothing less than a formal demand for the hand of the 
Princess Disdainana, on the part of Kloxoxskin the 
Ninety-ninth one of the ugliest and most belligerent 
monarchs in the world the document being drawn in 
the form of an ultimatum, calling upon the King to 
give his daughter to the said Kloxoxskin in marriage, 



Princess Who Despised Men. 265 

within two hours of the receipt of this demand, or, 
failing compliance therewith, to surrender his throne to 
the said Kloxoxskin, who would, at the time specified, 
come, supported by his invincible army of one million 
nine hundred and ninety-nine veteran warriors, to receive 
the said King's answer. 

In his moments of worst apprehension, the King had 
never thought of anything so terrible as this. He called 
his wife and daughter back to him, and made them 
clearly understand the crisis that had come to him and 
them ; but though the Queen was inclined to save her 
share of the throne by submission, the Princess declared 
that no consideration would induce her to give herself 
to any man to such a human monster as Kloxoxskin 
least of all. 

From that resolution her father tried to move her, 
but she was inflexible against all his arguments and 
prayers ; and when the two hours' grace was spent, the 
King found himself in the presence of the redoubtable 
Kloxoxskin the Ninety-ninth, a prisoner in his palace, 
and wholly at the mercy of his all-powerful conqueror. 

Realising the peril in which she stood, the Queen 
did her best to persuade her daughter to submit to the 
inevitable ; but the Princess quickly silenced her by 
giving her back the arguments that had all her life 
been used in the cultivation of her detestation of all 
men. 

But though she had no misgiving as to her moral 
strength, the Princess could not but contemplate with 
alarm the danger of a personal encounter with King 
Kloxoxskin, so she determined to seek safety in flight 



266 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

and, as soon as dusk came, contrived to slip unperceived 
from the palace into a dense forest which grew at no 
great distance from the walls of her father's capital. 

For a long time she pressed farther and farther into 
the depths of the forest, growing every moment more 
and more relieved from the apprehension that she might 
be pursued. 

Pausing at length to rest, she noticed that night had 
thoroughly set in, and that it would be impossible for 
her to go any farther in the darkness. At the same 
moment a terrible sound fell upon her ears the roaring 
of wild beasts of some kind, coming rapidly nearer and 
nearer. For an instant her heart stood still, but she 
was not wanting in courage or resource, and, observing 
that she was at the foot of a giant oak tree, she lost not 
a moment in climbing to the shelter of its spreading 
boughs. 

Choosing the securest position she could find, her 
alarm of the moment subsided ; but though she was 
greatly fatigued, the memory of the peril from which 
she was endeavouring to escape, coupled with anxiety 
as to the trials which might be awaiting her all night, 
prevented her from going to sleep; and, when morning 
dawned, she prepared, tired and hungry, to descend to 
the ground and continue her undefined journey. 

But she found that climbing was a far easier matter 
than descending from her place of refuge; for she now 
observed that the tree sent out, on nearly all sides of 
its gnarled trunk, the remains of huge jagged and lifeless 
branches, to avoid which would require a skill which 
she did not possess. She had no choice, however, but 



Princess Who Despised Men. 267 

to make an attempt to get down, and had nearly suc- 
ceeded in reaching the ground when, to her consternation, 
the full skirt of her splendid dress caught upon an 
enormous splinter, and held her hanging helpless some 




"AT THE MERCY OF HIS ALL-POWERFUL CONQUEROR*' (p. 265). 

feet in the air, all her efforts to free herself proving 
unavailing. 

Hours passed by. The sunlight pierced some of the 
neighbouring tree-tops ; but the return of day brought 
her neither comfort nor the hope of release, and she 
was giving way to the horrible idea that she would 



268 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

have to endure all the torments of a lingering death, 
when she heard the voice of a woodman, whistling on 
his way to his work, and called to him. 

The man came towards her out of the underwood. 

"Assist me down," said the Princess, in her habitual 
tone of disdain. 

" Not I," replied the woodman. " I recognise you : 
you are the Princess Who Despises All Men ! Ho ! 
ho ! I'm a man, remember ! " 

That said, he went on his way, whistling cheerfully, 
leaving the Princess to think, for a moment, that her 
rooted antipathy to men was amply justified by the 
brutal conduct of this coarse and ugly wretch. 

But the distress of her position became every moment 
more and more acute, and, seeing that it was hopeless 
to anticipate the assistance of any chance passer, she 
made one more effort to free herself, and by exerting 
all her remaining strength, succeeded in tearing herself 
from the offensive bough at the cost of a great rent 
in her beautiful dress and a fall, which left her for a 
few minutes lying insensible on the ground at the foot 
of the tree. 

After returning to consciousness, and sitting for a 
while to recover her presence of mind, she rose and 
continued her blind way through the forest, always 
hungry and many times faint with fatigue, all day 
long, until once again she found the shades of evening 
closing about her. 

Just before night had actually come, she reached a 
spot at which a party of charcoal-burners were seated 
about a cheerful fire in front of their hut, eating their 



Princess Who Despised Men. 269 

supper of bread and potatoes, roasted in the embers at 
their feet. The appetising scents of these well-cooked 
roots provoked the starving Princess's hunger in an 
almost unendurable degree. 

" Give me one of your potatoes," she said, still unable 
to modify the disdainful tone of her voice. 

" Not we ! " replied the head charcoal-burner. " I 
recognise you : you are the Princess Who Despises All 
Men ! Ho ! ho 1 We are men, remember ! " 

More than ever disgusted with men, the Princess 
wandered all night through the forest, afraid to lie down, 
lest she might fall asleep and become a prey to some 
prowling wild beast. 

As the dawn of another day was becoming visible, 
she found herself on the border of a meadow, and saw 
a young farmer drawing water from a well for some 
horses which were waiting near him. 

"Give me some of that water I'm thirsty!" she 
said imperiously. 

" Aha," said the young farmer, " I recognise you : 
you are the Princess Who Despises All Men ! If you 
want water, dig a well for yourself, as I have had 
to do." 

" Loathsome creatures, one and all ! " the Princess 
said to herself, as she turned away from the spot. " My 
good mother was right in teaching me to despise 
them." 

She presently reached a more open part of the country, 
though she was still near the forest through which she 
had passed, and, towards noon, when she was almost 
overcome by the sun's heat, she came upon a rising 



2 jo The Diamond Fairy Book. 

ground, whence she beheld, afar off, a great stretch of 
water, and, on what seemed its most distant reach, an 
opalesque haze. 

Then there suddenly came to her mind a story she 
had heard of the existence of an island-kingdom peopled 
by women who, like herself, held all men in disdain, 
and would never permit one of them to set foot where 
they were. And she was overtaken by a burning desire 
to reach that island, which she fancied must be hidden 
in the midst of the opalesque haze on which she was 
gazing. 

So she hurried on and on, sustained wholly by the 
intensity of her desire, till she came upon the sea-shore 
for the great water she had looked upon was the 
wide ocean. 

Alongside his boat, and busy with his nets, she found 
a fisherman, and at once accosted him. 

" Is yonder mist-enveloped island the kingdom of 
Diaphanosia ? " she asked him. 

" Yes," he answered. 

" Then row me over to it in your boat," she said 
eagerly. 

"Not I," he replied. "I recognise you: you are the 
Princess Who Despises All men, and / am a man, you 
know. If you want a boat, make one for yourself, as 
I had to do. Over there, in the forest, you will find 
plenty of wood for your purpose, only you will have 
to cut it down." 

To get out of the sun's burning rays, and to give 
herself time for reflection, the Princess retired into the 
forest and sat down at the foot of a hollow tree, by 



Princess Who Despised Men. 271 

the side of which a rusty axe was lying, as if it had 
been left there by some woodman and forgotten. 




"THE DISTRESS OF HER POSITION BECAME EVERY MOMENT 
MORE ACUTE" (/>. 268). 

Strange! A merry laugh came out of the thicket 
near to her; but though she searched with her eyes in 



272 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

every direction she could discover nobody who could 
have given it utterance. 

Strange again ! It flashed upon her mind that the 
mere expression of disdain for men was wanting in force 
if it were not emphasised by the demonstration of woman's 
power to do absolutely without them. 

Upon the strength of this reasoning, she at once 
seized the axe, and after many days of hard work, 
succeeded in felling the hollow tree and giving to it 
something of the shape of a boat, in which, by the aid 
of a roughly fashioned pair of oars, she rowed herself 
across to the island-kingdom, where she hoped to find 
the realisation of all her aspirations for a state of existence 
in which men were wholly ignored. 

Not once or twice, but over and over again, she 
succeeded in reaching the border of the opalesque haze 
in which the kingdom of Diaphanosia was perpetually 
veiled ; but she was as often beaten back by an irresistible 
current which set towards the shore from which she 
had started. 

On one of these fruitless voyages her strength utterly 
left her, and she sank down in the bottom ol her boat 
insensible, the oars dropping from her nerveless hands 
and drifting away ; so that, even if she had immediately 
returned to consciousness, she would have found herself 
helplessly at the mercy of the sea. 

When she did recover from her state of insensibility, 
it was to discover herself lying upon a mossy bank 
on the skirt of the forest, a handsome and superbly 
dressed young man tending her with delicately eager 
solicitude. 



Princess Who Despised Men. 273 

She did not attempt to rise or to speak ; she thought 
she was sleeping and dreaming the only thing strange 
in her state of feeling being that the near presence of a 
man provoked no sense of repugnance or resentment 

" Thank Heaven ! " said the young gentleman, in a 
tone of intense relief, as he saw her open her eyes. 
" For awhile I have been terribly afraid that my efforts 
to rescue you had been unavailing." 

Still held by the idea that she was dreaming, the 
Princess only continued to look into his face without 
replying to his words. 

" Rest here for a short time, and sleep if you can, 
while I watch over you," he continued. "When you 
have become strong enough to travel, my horse shall 
carry you to my father's palace, which stands not very 
far from this spot: once there, my mother will be 
delighted to tend upon you as if you were her own 
daughter." 

"Take me to your kind mother," she said, rising, the 
soft tones of her own voice sounding in her ears as if 
they came from the lips of some other person than 
herself. 

The handsome young Prince for he was no less 
blew a golden whistle suspended to his neck by a 
jewelled chain, and in a few moments a splendidly 
caparisoned horse came to him from out the forest. 

Upon the back of this noble steed the Prince 
gallantly lifted his beautiful charge, and taking the 
bridle on his hand, led him through the forest openings, 
walking by the Princess's side and relating to her how, 
while hunting, it had been his blest fortune to see her 

18 



274 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

helpless condition in her boat, and, by swimming out 
to her, rescue her at the moment when her rude vessel 
was on the point of sinking with her beneath the 
waves. 

She listened silently to all he said to her, filled with 
an inexplicable sense of wonder at herself in finding 
that ever the voice of a man could fall sympathetically 
on her ears ! " I must be dreaming ! " she said to herself 
again and again. 

At last, on reaching an eminence, the Prince pointed 
to a noble pile of buildings on the outskirts of a great 
city, and said something of sadness coming into the 
tone of his voice : 

" Yonder is my father's palace ; we shall reach it in 
a very little time and then the happy privilege of these 
delightful moments will cease to be mine, never to be 
renewed, perhaps." 

All things about her seemed, at the sound of those 
words, to melt into a roseate mist, carrying with them 
all sense of herself. Apart from her will, unconsciously, 
she held out her hand to her preserver, who pressed it 
to his lips with tender gratitude. 

Clearly and with wonderful sweetness of intonation, 
the gay laugh which had greeted her on so many 
eventful moments of her life once more rang in the 
Princess's ears. 

" Ah ! I recognise it now ! " she cried " the sweet 
voice of my fairy godmother ! Oh, wise and kind Gaieia, 
still be my guardian, as you have ever been, and make 
me in the future all that I have failed to make myself 
in the past 1 " 



Princess Who Despised Men. 275 

The laugh that answered her entreaty was as gay 
and sweet as ever, but came from afar ; for, in fact, the 
good fairy had sped away, having a great deal still to 
do for her froward godchild, and that without delay : 
amongst other things to make King Kloxoxskin imme- 








"HER RUDE VESSEL WAS ON THE POINT or SINKING" (p. 274). 

diately evacuate the palace and dominions of the Princess's 
father, under the idea that he was escaping from a great 
peril which would certainly have overwhelmed him if 
he had persisted in forcing the Princess Disdainana to 
marry him. 

More than that a task much more difficult to accom- 
plishthe merry fairy had to overcome the prejudice of 



276 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

the Queen, whose obstinacy had returned in full force 
as soon as she was once again able to exercise it on 
the side of her anti-matrimonial fancies. But, as every- 
body knows, nothing can permanently withstand the 
power and strategy of a good fairy ; so it came about 
really as a matter of course that, her daughter having 
accepted for her husband the charming Prince who had 
saved her life, the Queen consented to receive him as her 
son-in-law; and it is a well-attested matter of history, 
that nobody ever heard her utter a single word in 
dissent from her husband's freely-expressed delight at 
the saving of his dynasty from what had, for awhile, 
seemed its inevitable extinction 



The Necklace of Tears. 




B /Bbrs. Egerton Eastwfcft, 

ONCE, many years ago, there lived in Ombrelande 
a most beautiful Princess. Now, Ombrelande 
is a country which still exists, and in which many 
strange things still happen, although it is not to be found 
in any map of the world that I know of. 

The Princess, at the time the story begins, was little 
more than a child, and while her growing beauty was 
everywhere spoken of, she was unfortunately still more 
noted for her selfish and disagreeable nature. She cared 
for nothing but her own amusement and pleasure x and 
gave no thought to the pain she sometimes inflicted on 
others in order to gratify her whims. It must be men- 
tioned, however, as an excuse for her heartlessness, that, 



280 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

being an only child, she had been spoilt from her baby- 
hood, and always allowed to have her own way, while 
those who thwarted her were punished. 

One day the Princess Olga, that was her name, escaped 
from her governess and attendants, and wandered into 
the wood which joined the gardens of the palace. It 
was her fancy to be alone ; she would not even allow 
her faithful dachshund to bear her company. 

The air was soft with the coming of spring ; the sun 
was shining, the songs of the birds were full of gratitude 
and joy ; the most lovely flowers, in all imaginable hues, 
turned the earth into a jewelled nest of verdure. 

Olga threw herself down on a bank, bright with green 
moss and soft as a downy pillow. The warmth and her 
wanderings had already wearied her. She had neglected 
her morning studies, and left her singing-master waiting 
for her in despair in the music-room of the palace, that 
she might wander into the wood, and already the pleasure 
was gone. 

She threw herself down on the bank and wished she 
was at home. There was one thing, however, of which 
she never tired, and that was her own beauty; so now, 
having nothing to do, and finding the world and the 
morning exceedingly tiresome and tame and dull, she 
unbound her long golden hair, and spread it all around 
her like a carpet over the moss and the flowers, that 
she might admire its softness and luxuriance, by way of 
a change. 

She held up the yellow meshes in her hands and drew 
them through her fingers, laughing to see the golden 
lights that played among the silky waves in the sunlight ; 



The Necklace of Tears. 281 

then she fell to admiring the small white hands which 
held the treasure, holding them up against the light to 
see their almost transparent delicacy, and the pretty rose- 
pink lines where the fingers met. Certainly she made 
a charming picture, there in the sunshine among the 
flowers : the picture of a lovely innocent child, if she 
had been less vain and self-conscious. 

Presently she heard a slight rustle of boughs behind her, 
and looking round she saw that she was no longer alone. 
Not many paces away, gazing at her with admiring 
wonder, stood a youth in the dress of a beggar, and 
over his shoulder looked the face of a young girl, which 
Olga was forced to acknowledge as lovely as her own. 
Now, the forest was the private property of the King, 
and the presence of these poor-looking people was certainly 
an intrusion. 

"What are you doing here?" said Olga haughtily. 
" Don't you know that you are trespassing ? This wood 
belongs to the King, and is forbidden to tramps and 
beggars." 

" We are no beggars, lady," said the youth. He spoke 
with great gentleness, but his voice was strong and sweet 
as a deep-toned bell. " To us no land is forbidden and 
we own allegiance to no one." 

"My father will have you put in prison," said Olga 
angrily. " What is your name ? " 

" My name is Kasih." 

" And that girl behind you she is hiding why does 
she not come forward ? " 

" It is Kasukah my sister," he said, looking round with 
a smile ; " she is shy, and frightened, perhaps." 



282 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

" What outlandish names ! You must be gypsies," 
said Olga rudely, " and perhaps thieves." 

" Indeed, lady, you are mistaken ; on the contrary, it 
is in our power to bestow upon you many priceless gifts. 
But we have travelled far to find you, and are weary ; 
only bid us welcome let us go with you to the castle 
to rest Kasukah " 

" How dare you speak so to me ? " interrupted Olga, 
in a fury. " To the castle, indeed what are you thinking 
of? There is a poor-house somewhere, I have heard the 
people say, maintained by my father's bounty out of 
the taxes, you can go there. Go at once or " 

She raised the little silver-handled dog-whip which hung 
at her girdle. To do her justice, she was no coward. 
Kasukah had quite disappeared ; the boy stood alone 
looking at Olga with sad, reproachful eyes. For a moment, 
she thought what a pity he was so poor and shabby; 
he had the face and bearing of a king. But she was 
too proud to change her tone. 

"Or what? "he said. 

" I will drive you away," she said defiantly. Still 
Kasih did not move, and the next moment she had struck 
him smartly across the cheek with the whip. 

He made no effort at self-defence or retaliation, only 
it seemed to her that she herself felt the pain of the 
wound. For a few instants she saw his sorrowful face 
grown white and stern, and the red, glowing scar which 
her whip had caused ; then, like Kasukah, he seemed 
to vanish, and disappeared among the trees, while where 
he had stood a sunbeam crossed the grass. 

Olga felt rather scared. She had been certainly very 



The Necklace of Tears. 283 

audacious, and it was odd that the boy should have shown 
no resentment. After all, she rather wished she had 




"GO AT ONCB" (/. 282). 

asked both him and his sister to stay, they might have 
proved amusing. 

However, it was too late now ; she could not call them 



284 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

back ; so she thought she would return to the castle ; 
she was beginning to feel hungry. So she went leisurely 
home, and, for the remainder of the day, proved a little 
more tractable than usual. She did not forget Kasih 
and his sister, and for a time wondered if they would 
ever seek her again; but the months went by and she 
saw them no more. 

Now, as Olga grew older, of course the question arose 
of finding for her a desirable husband. And one suitor 
came and another, but none pleased her; and, indeed, 
more than one highly eligible young Prince was frightened 
away by her haughty manners and violent temper. 

The truth was, that in secret she had not forgotten 
the face of Kasih, and she sometimes told herself that 
if she could find among her suitors one who was at all 
like him, and was also rich and powerful enough to 
give her all she desired in other ways, him she would 
choose. Kasih was certainly very handsome, in spite of 
his beggar's clothes ; and, suitably dressed, he would have 
been quite adorable. Also, it would be delightful to find 
a husband with such a gentle, yielding disposition, who 
never thought of resenting anything she said or did. 

And one day a suitor came to the palace who really 
made her heart beat a little faster than usual at first ; 
he was so like the lost Kasih. But unfortunately he was 
only the younger son of a Royal Duke, and could offer 
her nothing better than a small, insignificant Principality 
and an income hardly sufficient to pay her dressmaker's 
bills. So it was no use thinking about him, and he was 
dismissed with the others. Olga's father began to think 



The Necklace of Tears. 285 

his daughter would never find all she required in a 
husband, but would remain for ever in the ancestral 
castle : as every year she grew more disagreeable, the 
prospect did not afford him entire satisfaction. 

At length, however, appeared a very powerful Prince, 
who peremptorily demanded her hand. He was a big, 
strong man, and carried on his wooing in such a masterful 
manner that even Olga was a little afraid of him. At 
the same time he loaded her with jewels and beautiful 
presents of all kinds, brought from his own country. He 
was said to possess fabulous wealth ; and, partly because 
she feared him, and partly because of her pride and 
ambition, haughty Olga surrendered and promised to 
become his wife. Having once gained her consent, Hazil 
would brook no delay. 

The date was immediately fixed, and the grandest 
possible preparations made for the wedding. No expense 
was spared, innumerable guests were invited, while those 
less favoured among the people came from far and near 
to see the bride's wedding clothes and to bring her 
presents. Indeed, the King of Ombrelande was forced 
to add a new suite of rooms to the castle to contain 
the wedding gifts and display them to the best ad- 
vantage. 

Such a sight as the bridal train had never been seen 
before, for it was spangled all over with diamonds so 
closely that Olga when she moved looked like a living 
jewel and her veil was sprinkled with diamond dust, 
which sparkled like myriads of tiny stars. 

The evening before the wedding day Olga sat alone 
5n her chamber, thinking of the magnificence that awaited 



286 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

her, also a little of Hazil, the bridegroom. She had 
that day seen Hazil, in a passion, punish, with his own 
hands, a servant for disobedience, and the sight had 
displeased her. It had been an ugly and unpleasant 
exhibition, but worse than all, the sight of the poor 
man's wounds had recalled that livid mark across the 
fair cheek of Kasih which she herself had wrought. The 
boy's gentle face, which had become so stern when they 
parted, the laughing eyes of Kasukah, quite haunted her 
to-night. She thought she would like to make amends 
for her rudeness ; if she knew where they were, she would 
ask brother and sister to her wedding. And just as 
she was so thinking, a soft tap sounded at the door, 
and before she could ask who was there (she thought it 
must surely be the Queen, her mother, come to bid 
her a last good-night, and felt rather displeased at the 
interruption) the door opened, and a stranger entered 
the room. 

Olga saw a tall figure, draped from head to foot in 
a soft darkness that shrouded her like a cloud, obscuring 
even her face. 

" Who are you ? " said Olga, " and what do you want 
in my private apartments ? Who dared admit you with- 
out my leave ? " 

" I asked admittance of no one, for none can refuse me 
or bar my way," answered the stranger, in a voice like 
the sighing of soft winds at night. " My name is 
Kasuhama I am the foster-sister of Kasukah and Kasih, 
of whom you were just now thinking, and I come to 
bring you a wedding gift." 

She withdrew her veil slightly as she spoke, and Olga 



The Necklace of Tears. 287 

saw a pale, serene face, sorrowful in expression, and 
framed with snow-white hair, but yet bearing a likeness, 
that was like a memory, to Kasih and Kasukah. 




l COME TO BRING YOU A WEDDING GIFT" (/. 286). 

" I wish," said Olga petulantly, " that Kasih had brought 
it to-morrow and been present at our feast. I would 
have seen that he was properly attired for the occasion. 



288 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

Your sad face is hardly suitable for a wedding feast. 
Shall I ever see him again ? " 

" As to that, I cannot answer," said Kasuhama gravely ; 
" but your wedding is no place either for him or Kasukah. 
As for me I go everywhere. I am older in appearance 
than the others, you see, though, in reality, it is not so. 
But that is because they have immortal souls and I have 
none. The time will come when I must bid them farewell. 
We but journey together for a time." 

The air of the room seemed to have become strangely 
chill and cold, and Olga shivered. " I am tired," she 
said, " and I wish to rest Will you state your business 
and leave me ? " 

Experience had made her less abruptly rude than when 
she dismissed Kasih in the wood ; also this cold, pale, 
soulless woman struck her with something like awe. 

" Yes, I will say farewell to you now. In the future 
you will know me better and perhaps learn not to fear 
me but I will leave with you the present I came to 
bring." 

She held out a necklace of pearls more wonderful than 
even Olga had ever seen. They were large and round, 
lustrous and fair ; but as Olga took them in her hands 
it seemed to her that, in their mysterious depths, each 
jewel held imprisoned a living soul. 

" Wear them," said Kasuhama ; " by them you will 
remember me." 

Almost involuntarily Olga raised her hands and fastened 
the necklace around her slender throat. The clasps just 
met, and the pearls glistened like dewdrops on her bosom 
or were they tears ? 



The Necklace of Tears. 289 

But in the centre of the necklace was a vacant space. 

" There is one lost ! " she said. 

" Not lost, but missing," answered Kasuhama softly. 
" One day the place will be filled, and the necklace will 
be complete." And with these words she waved her 
hand to Olga, and, drawing her dusky veil around her, 
quitted the room as quietly as she had entered. 

The ceremonies of the following day passed off without 
let or hindrance, and Olga, dazzled by her grandeur, 
would have thought little of her visitor of the previous 
night would indeed have believed the incident a dream, 
a trick of the imagination but for the necklace. It 
still encircled her throat, for her utmost efforts proved 
unavailing to unfasten the clasps, and every one stared 
and marvelled at the wonderful pearls which seemed 
endowed with a curious fascination. 

Only Prince Hazil was displeased ; for he could not 
bear his bride to wear jewels not his gift, and that 
outshone by their lustre any he could produce ; also, 
he was jealous of the unknown giver. When the wedding 
was over, and they were travelling away to the distant 
castle where the first weeks of Olga's new life were to 
be spent, he tried to take the jewels from their resting- 
place. Olga smiled, for she knew that even his great 
strength would be unavailing, and so it proved ; and 
although on reaching their destination Hazil sent for all 
the Court jewellers, neither then nor at any other time 
could the most experienced among them loosen Kasuhama's 
magic gift from its place. 

The months rolled by, and Olga reigned a Queen in her 
husband's country, but her life was a sad one. Hazil was 

19 



290 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

often cruel, and it seemed as though he were bent upon 
heaping upon her all the contumely and harshness she had 
shown to others. Still her proud spirit refused to yield. 
She met him with defiance in secret, and openly bore her- 
self with so much cold haughtiness that no one dared to 
hint at her trouble, much less to offer her any sympathy. 

But when alone in her chamber she saw again the 
faces of Kasih and Kasukah; but more often that of 
Kasuhama. For the necklace was still there to remind 
her ; the pearls still shone with mysterious, undimmed 
lustre ; indeed, they seemed to grow more numerous, 
and to be woven into more delicate and intricate designs, 
as time went on. Still, however, the place for the central 
jewel remained unfilled. Often Olga herself tried with 
passionate, almost agonising, effort to break their fatal 
chain, for every day their weight grew heavier, until 
she seemed to bear fetters of iron about her fair throat, 
and when the pearls touched her they burned as though 
the iron were molten. 

Still, in public, they were universally admired, and 
gratified vanity enabled her to bear the pain and in- 
convenience without open complaint. 

But one day was placed in her arms another treasure 
a beautiful living child, and she was so fair that they 
called her Pearl, but the Queen hated the name. The 
child, however, found a soft place in Hazil's rough nature ; 
indeed, he idolised her ; but Olga rarely saw her little 
daughter, and left her altogether to the care of the 
nurses and attendants. 

So little Pearl grew very fragile, and had a wistful 
look in her blue eyes, as though waiting for something 



The Necklace of Tears. 291 




HE TRIED TO TAKE THE JEWELS FROM THEIR RESTING-PLACE" (/>. 



292 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

that never came ; for in her grand nurseries and among 
all her beautiful playthings she found no mother-love to 
perfect and nourish her life. 

And all this time Olga had seen no more of Kasih or 
Kasukah ; had, indeed, almost forgotten what their faces 
were like. But one night, at the close of a grand enter- 
tainment, she was summoned in haste to the nursery. The 
Court physician came to tell her that little Pearl was ill. 

Olga was very weary. Never had the necklace seemed 
so heavy a burden as that night, or the Court functions 
so endless. She rose, however, and followed the physician 
at once. Hazil, the King, was far away, visiting a distant 
part of his great territory ; he would be terribly angry if 
anything went wrong with little Pearl during his absence. 

She reached the room where the child lay on her lace- 
covered pillows, very white and small, but with a happy 
smile on her tiny face, a happy light in her blue eyes, 
which looked satisfied at last. But Olga knew that 
the smile was not for her, that the child did not recognise 
her, would never know her any more. 

Some one else stood beside the couch : a stranger with 
bent head and loving, out-stretched arms, and little Pearl 
prattled in baby language of playthings and flowers and 
sunlight and green fields. Olga drew near and watched, 
helpless and terrified, with a strange despair at her heart 
And soon the little voice grew weaker but the happy 
smile deepened as the blue eyes closed. 

And there was a great silence in the nursery. The 
stranger lifted the little form in his arms, and as he 
raised his head Olga saw his face, and she knew that 



The Necklace of Tears. 293 

it was Kasih come at last, for across his cheek still glowed 
the red line of the wound which her hand had dealt 
many years before. His eyes met hers with the same 




"THE STRANGER LIFTED THE LITTLE FORM lu HIS ARMS" (/. 292). 

stern sadness of reproach as when they had parted then 
she remembered no more. 

When the Queen recovered from her swoon they told 
her that her little daughter was dead ; but she knew that 
Kasih had taken her. She said no word and showed 



294 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

few signs of grief, but remained outwardly proud and 
cold, though her heart was wrung with a pain and fear 
she could not understand. She was full of wrath against 
Kasih, who, she thought, had taken this way of avenging 
the old insult she had offered him. Yet the sorrowful 
look in his eyes haunted her. 

The pearls about her neck pressed upon her with a 
heavier weight, and in her sleep she saw them as in 
a vision, and in their depths she discerned strange 
pictures : faces she had known years ago and long since 
forgotten, the faces of those whom her pride and harshness 
had caused to suffer, who had appealed to her for love 
and pity and were denied. 

And then in her dream she understood that the pearls 
were in truth the tears of those she had made sorrowful, 
kept and guarded by Kasih in his treasure-house, but 
given to her by Kasuhama to be her punishment. 

Before many days had passed, the King Hazil returned, 
and when he learned that his little daughter was dead, 
he summoned the Queen to his presence. Olga went 
haughtily, for she dared not altogether disobey. Then 
Hazil loaded her with reproaches, and in his anger he 
told her many, many hard things, and the words sank 
deep into her heart. It seemed, presently, that she could 
bear no more, and hardly knowing what she did, she 
cast herself at his feet and prayed for mercy. 

She asked him to remember that the child had been 
hers also that she had loved it But Hazil, in his 
bitterness, laughed in her face and told her she was a 
monster, that it was for lack of her love that the child 
had died that she had never loved anything not even 



The Necklace of Tears. 295 

herself. He turned away to nurse his own grief, and 
Olga dragged herself up and went away to the silent 
room, and knelt by the little couch where she had seen 
Kasih take away her child. 

And there at length the blessed tears fell, for she was 
humbled at last, and sorry, and quite desolate and alone. 
And it seemed to her that through her tears she once 
more saw Kasih, and that he held towards her the little 
Pearl, more beautiful than ever, and the child put its arms 
about her neck, and she was comforted. 

Well, from that day the life of the Queen was changed. 
When next she looked at the pearl necklace she found 
that a jewel, more beautiful than any of the others, had 
been added to it ; and she knew that the tear of her 
humiliation had filled the vacant place. 

And henceforth she often saw the face of Kasih : near 
the bed of the dying, beside all who needed consolation, 
kindness, and love, there she met him constantly. Near 
him sometimes she caught a glimpse of bright Kasukah, 
but for a while, more often of Kasuhama. 

The face of the white-haired sister, however, had grown 
very gentle and kind, and she whispered of a time when 
Kasukah should take her place for ever for Love and 
Joy are eternal, but Sorrow has an end. And with every 
act of unselfish kindness and love that the Queen Olga 
performed the weight and burden of the necklace grew 
less, until the day that it fell from her of its own accord, 
and she was able to give it back to Kasuhama. And 
Hazil, the King, seeing how greatly Olga was changed, 
in time grew gentle towards her, and loved her ; for 
Kasuhama softened his heart 



The Prince and the Lions. 




jfrom tbe ftecsian. 



IN an Eastern city there once lived a young Prince 
named Azgid. He was virtuous and accomplished, 
but had one fault he was a bit of a coward ! 
Prince Azgid's father had recently died, and he was 
looking forward to his coronation. A few days before 
the day fixed for the ceremony, the old Vizier called 
upon the Prince and informed His Royal Highness that 
before he could ascend the throne he must in accordance 
with an ancient custom, fight a certain nuge red lion 
which was kept in a den within the precincts of the 
palace. 

The Prince, upon hearing this, was so frightened that 
he made up his mind to run away. He rose in the night, 



300 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

dressed himself hastily, mounted his horse, and left the 
city. Thus he journeyed for three days. 

In the course of the third day, as he rode through a 
beautiful thickly-wooded country, he heard the sound of 
exquisite music, and presently overtook a handsome 
youth, who was leading a few sheep, and playing upon 
a flute. 

The young man having courteously saluted the 
stranger, Prince Azgid begged him to go on playing, for 
never in his life before, said the Prince, had he listened 
to such enchanting strains. 

The player then told Azgid that he was the slave of 
the wealthy shepherd named Oaxus, to whose abode, 
which was close at hand, he offered to conduct the 
traveller. 

The Prince gladly accepted this invitation, and in a 
few moments was entering the house of Oaxus, who 
accorded him a hearty welcome, and placed food and 
drink before him. When Azgid had finished his meal, 
he felt it incumbent upon him to make some sort of ex- 
planation to his host 

"Doubtless," said he, "you wonder who I am, and 
what is my errand in coming hither ? I can tell you this 
much that I am a Prince whom trouble has driven from 
home. Pardon me if I do not divulge my name ; that 
is a secret which must be securely locked within my own 
breast If convenient to you, I would gladly remain in 
this delightsome spot I have ample means, and can 
remunerate you for your kindness." 

Oaxus assured his guest that nothing would give him 
greater pleasure than to entertain him for as long a 



The Prince and the Lions. 301 

period as he cared to stay, and he begged him not to 
think of offering any remuneration. 

"And now, Isdril," added Oaxus, addressing his 
slave, " show the Prince our fountains and waterfalls, our 
rocks and vales, for I perceive that he is one who can 
appreciate Nature's beauties." 

The youth took up his flute and went out with the 
Prince. 

After wandering awhile amidst romantic scenery, the 
two young men sat down to rest upon a rock in a shady 
valley. The slave put his flute to his lips, and began to 
play. The prince loved music passionately, and the 
idea had already occurred to him that, if he ever left this 
fair retreat, he would like to purchase from Oaxus his 
accomplished slave. 

Suddenly Isdril broke the spell of the Prince's enjoy- 
ment by rising to his feet, with the words : " It is time 
for us to be going." 

" Wherefore ? " queried the Prince. " Why should we 
quit this delicious spot so soon ? " 

" Because," replied the other, " the neighbourhood is 
infested with lions. It is well, therefore, to retire early 
within our abodes, and close the gates. Upon one 
occasion I lagged behind, and see the consequence ! " 

He rolled up his sleeve and revealed a big scar upon 
his arm. Azgid turned pale, and upon reaching the 
house, informed his host that he had changed his mind 
and found himself obliged to ride on farther. He 
thanked Oaxus, bade farewell to him and to Isdril, and 
galloped off. 

Again he journeyed for three days, and came to a vast 



302 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

desert, in the midst of which he beheld an Arab en- 
campment. 

Thankfully he rode up to the black tents, for both 
he and his horse were worn out with hunger and 
fatigue. 

He was received by a dignified Sheik, to whom he 
made the same speech that he had addressed to the 
kindly Oaxus. 

Sheik Hajaar, like the shepherd, answered to the 
effect that he desired no other remuneration than the 
pleasure of the Prince's society, and that he should be 
delighted to keep his guest for ever, if so it might be. 
He introduced Azgid to a large number of his friends, 
and provided for his use a magnificent steed. 

A week passed. Day by day the Prince accompanied 
the Sheik in his antelope-hunting expeditions, which he 
enjoyed exceedingly. He quite thought that he was 
now happily settled for life, when one night, after he 
had retired to rest, Sheik Hajaar approached his couch, 
and said: 

"My son, I have come to tell you how pleased my 
people are with you, more especially with the spirit you 
have shown in the chase. But our life is not wholly 
taken up in such easy recreations ; we frequently engage 
in hard fighting with other tribes. All my men are 
seasoned warriors, and before they can have perfect 
confidence in you it is necessary that they should have 
some proof of your prowess. Two leagues to the south 
is a range of hills infested with lions. Go, then, early 
in the morning, mounted upon your horse, and armed 
with sword and spear. Slay one of these fierce beast? 



The Prince and the Lions. 303 

and bring us his skin ; so shall we know that we may 
rely upon you in the day of battle." 




"HE ROLLED UP HIS SLEEVE AND REVEALED A BIG SCAR*' (/. 3OI). 

When the Sheik had left him, Azgid rose, dressed 
himself, slipped quietly out of his tent, and bade a 



304 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

sorrowful, affectionate farewell to the horse which the 
Sheik had allowed him to use, now tethered with the 
others. Then he mounted his own steed, and rode forth 
into the night. 

By the middle of the next day, he was rejoiced to find 
that he was leaving the desert, and entering a fair region 
of hill and dale, meadows and streams. Soon he came 
to a splendid palace, built of porphyry, and standing in 
the midst of a magnificent garden. 

The owner of the palace, a rich Emir, was sitting in 
the porch, with his golden-haired daughter, Perizide. 

Here, again, the Prince was most kindly received. 
The interior of the building proved to be even more 
beautiful than the exterior. The rooms blazed with 
gold and precious stones ; walls and ceilings were covered 
with valuable paintings ; the windows were of the costliest 
stained glass. The Emir set before his guest a collection 
of delicate viands. 

The Prince made his accustomed speech, avowing his 
rank, but concealing his name. He added also his 
customary request, that he might be allowed to remain 
for a time in the house of his present entertainer. 

The Emir replied politely that the prince was heartily 
welcome to remain until the end of his life, if he chose to 
do so. Then he begged his guest to excuse him for a 
few minutes, as he was expecting some friends, and 
wished to make preparations for their reception. 

Thus Azgid was left alone with Perizide, with whom he 
was already in love. She took him into the garden, 
after exploring the beauties of which the pair returned 
to the house. 



The Prince and the Lions. 305 

The palace, now illuminated from top to bottom, was 
full of company. The evening passed merrily. Ob- 
serving a lute which lay upon a couch, the music-loving 
young Prince begged Perizide to play to him. In the 
midst of his enjoyment, however, he was startled by a 
strange, loud sound, and asked his fair companion what 
it might be. 

" Oh 1 " replied she, with a laugh, " that is only Boulak, 
our black porter, indulging in a yawn." 

" Good gracious ! " exclaimed Azgid ; " what un- 
commonly good lungs he must have!" 

After the other guests had left, and Perizide had 
gone to bed, the Emir and the Prince chatted and smoked 
together for some time. By-and-by, the former offered 
to conduct the latter to his sleeping apartment. When 
they came to the foot of the grand staircase, which was 
of white marble, Azgid, looking up, was horrified to 
behold an enormous black lion stretched upon the top- 
most landing. 

"What is that?" faltered he. 

"That," returned his host, "is Boulak, our black 
porter. He is a tame lion, and will not harm you, if you 
are not afraid of him. He knows when any one fears 
him and then becomes ferocious." 

" I fear him greatly I " whispered the Prince. 

As he could not be persuaded to mount the stairs, 
he had to return to the saloon, and repose upon one of 
the divans. 

After the Emir had left him, Azgid carefully locked 
the door and fastened the windows. Then he lay down, 
but not to sleep. For he could hear the lion walking 

20 



306 The Diamond Fairy Book, 

about, and once the beast actually came to the door, and 
uttering a terrific roar, sprang against it with his fore- 
paws. 

The poor Prince made sure that the door would burst 
open, and that he should be devoured. Nothing of the 
kind happened, however. In a few moments Boulak 
went upstairs, and came down no more that night. 

Azgid lay thinking. Evidently he had flown in the 
face of Providence when he had fled from the lion at 
home. Since then, lions had met him at every turn. 
He resolved to submit to what was so clearly his 
destined duty to return home and fulfil the condition 
required. 

In the morning, therefore, he told the Emir the whole 
truth. The kind old man had been acquainted with 
Azgid's father, the King Almamoun. He highly 
approved of the young man's resolution, and, with a 
parting blessing, sped him on his way. But the Prince 
had no opportunity of making his adieux to the fair 
Perizide. 

Then Azgid rode back to the Arab camp, and con- 
fessed all to the good Sheik Hajaar. He also inquired 
after the beautiful horse. 

" He is well," replied the other, " and I should be 
gratified if you could stay with us and use him again 
But it would be wrong to hinder you from your pious, 
undertaking. Return to your home, and do your duty 
like a man." 

Azgid next visited Oaxus, to whom, as to the others, 
he revealed his name and parentage, confessed his fault, 
and expressed his repentance. 



The Prince and the Lions. 307 




1 1 FEAR HIM GRIATLY I " (/. 30$), 



308 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

"Go, my friend !" said the kindly shepherd, "and may 
Heaven give you strength to persevere in your laudable 
resolution ! " 

" Farewell ! " answered Azgid ; " greet Isdril from me, 
and tell him that I hope some day to return and listen 
to his sweet music in spite of the lions." 

Without further interruption, the Prince rode straight 
home, and announced to the old Vizier his intention to 
fight the lion. 

The old man wept tears of joy at his Prince's return, 
and it was arranged that the combat should take place 
in a week's time. 

When the hour came, and the Prince entered the 
arena, the lion gave a loud roar, and approached his 
opponent slowly, with fierce looks. Azgid did not quail. 
With steady gaze he advanced, spear in hand. Suddenly 
the lion bounded forward, and, with another roar, sprang 
clean over the Prince's head. Then he ran joyously up 
to him, and began licking his hands with every de- 
monstration of affection. 

The Vizier called out to the Prince that he had 
conquered, and bade him leave the arena. The lion 
followed like a dog. 

" As you now see, Prince Azgid," said the old Minister, 
" the lion is a tame one, and would injure no one. You, 
however, were ignorant of this fact, and have satisfactorily 
proved your courage and valour by your readiness to 
fight him. Now all will know that you are worthy to 
ascend the throne of your heroic ancestors." 

Two men one old, the other very young came forward 
to congratulate the Prince. They were Oaxus and Isdril. 




With steady gaze he advanced, spear in hand." 



page 308 



The Prince and the Lions. 309 

" Prince Azgid," said the old shepherd, " as a memento 
of this happy day, allow me to make you a present." 
So saying, he pushed forward his slave, Isdril. 

" I heartily thank you, Oaxus ! " said the Prince, 
" and you, Isdril, are no longer a slave. From this 




"THE LION SPRANG CLEAN OVER THE PRINCE'S HEAD" (p. 308). 

moment you are free ; but you shall be my compa.nion, 
and delight me with your skill upon the flute." 

Presently another little group presented itself. It 
was composed of Sheik Hajaar, some of his Arabs, and 
the horse which the Prince had learned to love. 

" Azgid ! " said the Sheik, " I congratulate you heartily, 
and beg your acceptance of this steed." 



310 The Diamond Fairy Book. 

The Prince thanked and embraced the Sheik, and 
kissed the beautiful creature, who returned his caresses. 

The Emir was the next person to appear upon the 
scene. He was surrounded by a brilliant retinue, with 
music and banners. 

" I have come to congratulate you," said he to the 
Prince. " I have brought you no present, but I and all 
my belongings are yours." 

" I am rejoiced to see you, noble Emir ! " replied 
Azgid. "And how is your lovely daughter? As soon 
as I am crowned, I intend to set off at lightning speed 
to visit her ! " 

" That will be needless," said the Emir ; " come with 
me." And he led the young man to a veiled lady, who 
sat upon a white horse. It was Perizide ! 

Then, by order of the Vizier, the whole procession 
wended its way towards the palace. 

Many thoughts and emotions stirred within the breast 
of the young Prince. " When I fled from duty," reflected 
he, " everything went against me ; now that I have 
fulfilled it, fresh happiness meets me at every step." 

The coronation and also a wedding took place on 
the same day. Azgid and Perizide reigned long and 
happily. By the King's command, his adventures were 
recorded in the annals of the kingdom. And over the 
door of his palace were inscribed, in golden letters, these 
words: "Never run from the lion* 1 



Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbuiy. 



THE FIFTY-TWO 
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23. Fifty-two Stories of the British Army. 

24. Fifty-two Holiday Stories for Boys. 

25. Fifty-two Holiday Stories for Girls. 

26. Fifty-two Sunday Stories for Boys and Girls. 

27. Fifty-two Stories of Heroism in Life and Action for Boys. 

28. Fifty-two Stories of Heroism in Life and Action for Girls. 

29. Fifty-two Stories of the Wide, Wide World. 

30. Fifty-two Stirring Stories for Boys. 

31. Fifty-two Stirring Stories for Girls. 

32. Fifty-two Stories of the British Empire. 

33. Fifty-two Stories of Courage and Endeavour for Boys. 

34. Fifty-two Stories of Courage and Endeavour for Girls. 

35. Fifty-two Stories of Greater Britain. 

36. Fifty-two Stories of the Brave and True for Boys. 

37. Fifty-two Stories of the Brave and True for Girls. 

38. Fifty-two Stories for the Little Ones. 

39. Fifty-two Stories of School Life and After for Boys. 

40. Fifty-two Stories of School Life and After for Girls. 

41. Fifty- two Stories of Animal Life and Adventure. 

42. Fifty-two Stories of Grit and Character for Boys. 

43. Fifty-two Stories of Grit and Character for Girls. 

44. Fifty-two Stories of Wild Life, East and West. 

45. Fifty-two Stories of Head, Heart, and Hand for Boys. 

46. Fifty-two Stories of Head, Heart, and Hand for Girls. 

47. Fifty-two Thrilling Stories of Life at Home and Abroad. 

48. Fifty-two New Stories for Boys. 

49. Fifty-two New Stories for Girls. 

50. Fifty-two Pioneer Stories all round the Compass. ^ jb 

51. Fifty-two Excelsior Stories for Boys. ^ $ ' 

52. Fifty-two Excelsior Stories for Girls. & I 







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